Robert Kuok Net Worth, Biography and Career

admin March 5, 2022
Updated 2023/05/25 at 9:33 AM
Robert Kuok Net Worth

Robert Kuok Net Worth $15.5 Billion

Popular Name:Robert Kuok
Real Name:Robert Kuok Hock Nien
Birth Date:6 October 1923
Birth Place:
Johor Bahru, Johor, Unfederated Malay States, British Malaya (now Malaysia)
Marital Status:Married
Joyce Cheah (deceased)
Pauline Ho Poh Li
Profession:Businessman, Investor
Years active:N/A
Net Worth:$15.5 Billion
Last Updated:2022


A highly influential figure in Hong Kong, mainland China, Malaysia, and beyond, Robert Kuok has built an intimidating family business empire.

He has been Malaysia’s richest man for a couple of decades and has made his fortune from founding and controlling the Kuok Group, which has operations in many countries across the world, in sectors including real estate, hospitality, agriculture, and freight and logistics.

His biggest source of wealth is his investment in Wilmar International, the largest listed palm oil refiner in the world, though the Kuok Group’s best-known holding is the Shangri-La Hotels. Founded in Johor Bahru, Malaysia in the year 1949, Mr. Kuok’s company was first known as Kuok Brothers, trading wheat flour, rice, and sugar.

He notably once controlled 10 percent of the world’s sugar market, earning himself the nickname “the Sugar King of Asia”. In 1953, Kuok established a base in Singapore where he later launched the first Shangri-La Hotel in 1971.

In 1974, the company’s Hong Kong office was established as Kerry Holdings, launching the Kowloon Shangri-La in 1977. The Kerry Group also became one of the earliest foreign companies to set up operations in Mainland China, in 1980.

Also, an influential political figure, who maintains a close relationship with the governments of both China and Malaysia, Mr. Kuok has also been focused on causes like education and fighting poverty through the Kuok Foundation.

Through his foundation, he has made numerous charitable contributions to various causes, provided scholarships and grants, established countless non-profit hospitals, donated to the improvement of educational facilities, and built rehabilitation centers and shelters.

This businessman is also famously media-shy, despite having owned and controlled media properties including the South China Morning Post. His various businesses, today, are run by his children and nephew.

Early Life: Childhood, Education

Robert Kuok was born in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, on 6 October 1923, to a Malaysian-Chinese family. His father Kuok Keng Kang left Fuzhou, China, and moved to Malaya in Malaysia at the beginning of the 20th century. His mother’s name is Zheng Ge Ru. He was the youngest of three brothers born to his parents.

He grew up speaking English, his parents’ Fuzhou dialect, and Japanese during Japan’s occupation of Malaya.

He studied at Raffles Institution and English College Johore Bahru.

Professional Life: Entrepreneurial Career

This success story of Malaysian business magnate Robert Kuok is one that is very inspirational to many. He started his career from the grassroots as he wasn’t born into riches or anything. However, through hard work and diligence, this ambitious entrepreneur was able to find a breakthrough and change his family’s story.

After completing his studies, Robert started his career in the corporate world engaging in the rice business. He combined with his family to found Kuok Brothers Sdn Bhd in the late 1940s to trade agriculture.

Shortly after that, he established the Malayan Sugar Manufacturing company, which quickly gained popularity and went on to become a monopoly in the Malaysian sugar production space, producing 90 percent of Malaysian sugar and 10 percent of world sugar.

Establishing a monopoly in any market is not easy. Naturally, this ambitious and immensely ingenious businessman did not just stop at that. He moved to start a chain of hotels, the renowned Shangri-la which is now spread out across the world.

His speed and cleverness, according to financial experts, have led this genius to that near-impossible success. He has never been afraid to collaborate with other businesses from other parts of the world, unlike the eastern businessmen of his era, and that was one more factor that led to him being one of the wealthiest and most successful businessmen in the east.

He has been declared the wealthiest person in Malaysia and the second-wealthiest man in South East Asia by Forbes magazine.

Although Mr. Kuok is now retired, he will always be revered as a pioneer of entrepreneurship in the east and one of the foremost eastern businessmen who gave birth to multinational business establishments for Malaysia and the world.

The talent he showed in the business industry is unparalleled, and his story continues to inspire a lot of businesspeople across the globe.

Personal Life: Wife, Children, Residence

Kuok has been married two times. He has a total of eight children and many grandchildren. His businesses are now controlled by his sons since he is retired. He lives in Hong Kong.

Robert Kuok Net Worth: Salary, Income Sources, Assets

In this success post, we discussed the story of Robert Kuok. Among the most successful Asian and self-made industrialists who rule the business world, this Malaysian billionaire is a living legend. No one would have had as many businesses as this 91-year-old, all of them so huge.

He has tried his hand in the animal feed business, publishing, mining, flour, hotels, sugar cane, and oil, striking a huge success everywhere he went. His story is one of those inspirational rags-to-riches sagas. His uphill climb started as a young office boy, after which he assumed the role of a clerk of a rice trading venture in Singapore.

A naturally gifted quick learner, it took him three years to master the rice trading business. He then moved back to his hometown of Johor and began a similar venture with his brothers and a cousin, and all the doors to success were opened for him and his family.

Today, Robert Kuok owns a net worth of $15.5 billion. He made his fortune in the sugar industry where he controlled about 90 percent of the market for several years. He is heavily involved in businesses in many countries, including China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Fiji, and Australia, among others.

Some of his assets and investments include 51 percent of the PPB company, 100 percent of the Kuok group, and 100 percent of the Kerry Group. Additionally, he is invested in companies like Kerry Logistics, Allgreen Properties, Wilmar International Shangri-La Asia, Kerry Properties, and several others.

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