AFP

HONG KONG-Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing has held on to his title as Asia’s richest person, staying ahead of Macau casino mogul Lui Che-woo, according to Bloomberg on Friday. Li - whose firms Cheung Kong Holdings and Hutchison Whampoa control global assets in property, telecoms, utilities, ports and retail - had a net worth of $29.5 billion this month on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index calculated at the end of Thursday.

That was followed by Lui, the head of Macau casino operator Galaxy Entertainment, whose fortune amounted to $23.7 billion, according to the index, a daily ranking of the world’s richest people.

Another rich list for 2014 released by Forbes Magazine earlier this month, put Li’s net worth at $32 billion while 84-year-old Lui’s fortune came in at $21 billion. The 85-year-old Li, who started out in business as a plastic-flower maker, became Asia’s richest man in April 2012 after he surpassed Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani, according to the Bloomberg index. Lui’s family fled war-torn China for Hong Kong in 1934. He amassed his first fortune after World War II when he imported construction equipment left by US forces on the Japanese island of Okinawa. Lui’s Galaxy entered the Macau gambling market when it was opened up in 2002, ending a four-decade monopoly by Hong Kong businessman Stanley Ho.