Mon, Oct 22, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Hong Kong property tycoon Walter Kwok dies at 68


Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd chairman and CEO Walter Kwok speaks during a ceremony at the building site for the Industrial Commerce Centre in Hong Kong on Nov. 9 , 2005.

Photo: Bloomberg

Walter Kwok (郭炳湘), the former chairman of Hong Kong real-estate developer Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd (新鴻基地產), died on Saturday morning at the age of 68, his family said in a statement.

“We are saddened to announce the passing of Mr Walter Kwok, who left this world peacefully on the morning of October 20, with his loving family by his bedside,” the statement said, adding that church service arrangements would be announced in due course.

It did not disclose details of his death.

Kwok had a heart attack on Aug. 27 and had been transferred to Hong Kong’s Adventist Hospital, local media reported.

He was the oldest of three sons who inherited the fortune of Kwok Tak-seng (郭德勝), a grocery wholesaler from China’s Guangdong Province who immigrated to Hong Kong after World War II.

Kwok Tak-seng in 1963 joined Fung King-hey (馮景禧) and Lee Shau-kee (李兆基) to found Sun Hung Kai Properties. The company’s business has stretched into other areas, including logistics and telecommunications.

The three sons — Walter Kwok, Thomas Kwok (郭炳江) and Raymond Kwok (郭炳聯) — took over the company after their father died from a heart attack in 1990. Walter, also known by his Chinese name Ping-sheung, ran the company until 2008, after a public family squabble.

Walter Kwok said that Thomas and Raymond had him removed from his position because they thought he was suffering from a mental illness, which he denied.

Hong Kong’s Standard newspaper reported that Walter Kwok was forced to go on leave after a disagreement with his brothers over a female friend’s growing influence in the company.

He later sued his siblings for libel, but they settled their dispute amicably in January 2014.

In 2010, Walter began pursuing his own property projects with his company Empire Group Holdings (帝國集團).

Empire this year was awarded a redevelopment project in the tourist area of Tsim Sha Tsui, on which it planned to spend HK$6 billion (US$765 million), the South China Morning Post reported.

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