Stanley Ho: Wikis

  
  

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The Honourable
Stanley Ho
GML, GBS, OBE
Born 25 November 1921 (1921-11-25) (age 88)
Occupation Entrepreneur
Net worth 1.0 Billion USD
Spouse(s) Clementina Leitão (m.1942-2004)(deceased)
Nam King-ying (m.1957-present)
Chan Yun-chun (m.1985-present)
Leong On-ki (m.1986-present)
Children Ho Chiu-ying 何超英
Ho Yau-kwong 何猷光(deceased)
Ho Chiu-yin 何超賢
Ho Chiu-hung 何超雄
----
Ho Chiu-king Pansy 何超瓊
Ho Chiu-fung 何超鳳
Ho Chiu-ha 何超蕸
Ho Chiu-yi Josie 何超儀
Ho Yau-lung Lawrence 何猷龍
----
Ho Chiu-wan 何超雲
Ho Chiu-lin 何超蓮
Ho Yau-kai 何猷啟
----
Ho Chiu-ying 何超盈
Ho Yau-heng 何猷亨
Ho Yau-kai 何猷佳
Ho Yau-kung 何猷君
Ho Chiu-yan 何超欣
Parents Ho Sai Kwong
Flora Sin

Stanley Ho, OBE, GBS, GLM (born 25 November 1921), also known as Ho Hung-sun, Stanley Ho Hung-sun (simplified Chinese: 何鸿燊traditional Chinese: 何鴻燊Mandarin Pinyin: Hé HóngshēnJyutping: Ho4 Hung4 San1), is an entrepreneur in Hong Kong and Macau. Ho is sometimes nicknamed "The King of Gambling", reflecting the government-granted monopoly he held of the Macau gambling industry for 40 years.

Ho is the wealthiest person in Macau, and amongst the wealthiest in Asia. According to Forbes, he tied for 701st rank among the world's richest people in 2009, with an estimated net worth of $1.0 Billion USD[1]. He owns many properties in both Hong Kong and Macau and has taken part in many kinds of business including entertainment, tourism, shipping, real estate, banking, and air transport.

Apart from Hong Kong and Macau, he has also invested in Mainland China, Portugal, North Korea, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Ho is also a famous industrialist and entrepreneur in Asia, and he held a number of important positions in many firms in Hong Kong and Macau. His opinions and statements on Hong Kong's estate and commercial development have considerable sway on the market. Recently, he is involved in a court dispute against his own immediate sister concerning the ownership of the Macau casino.It is also rumoured that he has developed a very bad relationship with his sister due to this court dispute.

Contents

Early life

He was born in Hong Kong, into the Ho Tung family, one of the most well-known, powerful and influential clans in Hong Kong at the time. Their eldest son was Ho Tung (Sir Robert Hotung) and the next was Ho Fook (何福), Stanley Ho's grandfather. Ho Sai Kwong, one of Ho Fook's sons, had 13 children. Stanley Ho is the 9th child.

Although his family was very wealthy, he started his business on his own. When he was 13 years old, his father lost a vast sum of money in the stock market crash and went bankrupt. Consequently, Ho's two elder brothers committed suicide, and his father abandoned the family, leaving him with his two elder sisters and his mother.

Once he went to see a dentist who was a relative of Ho's. The dentist knew he had no money and said something that embarrassed him. He ran home and cried. He swore to his mother: "I must become a successful man. Let those relatives who only talk about money know, I will earn a lot of money in ten years."

Education

Ho studied in Queen's College, Hong Kong, in which he attended Class D because his academic results were unsatisfactory. Having realised studying assiduously was the only way to improve his social status after his father's bankruptcy, Ho worked extremely hard in school. Eventually, his hard work paid off and earned him a scholarship to the University of Hong Kong.[2] He became the first student from Class D to be granted a university scholarship.However, he was unable to finish his university study due to the breakout of WW2. In 1942, he fled the Japanese to Macau.

Career

Ho began clerical work at a Japanese-owned import-export firm in Macau. With his talents and command of four languages, he won the trust of his employers and quickly became a partner of the firm, at the age of 22.

Ho made his first fortune smuggling luxury goods across the Chinese border from Macau during World War II, according to Joe Studwell's book "Asian Godfathers".[3] Once, he was in charge of a vessel which was attacked by armed bandits. He was holding 300 thousand (US?) dollars, which he quickly laid down when his partners were shot. When the thieves were busy with the money, Ho then took the gun, regained control of the ship. The incident established his reputation, and he received a one million (US?) dollar bonus.

In 1943, he set up a kerosene company and established a construction company with his money. As the construction industry in Hong Kong was experiencing a period of rapid growth, Ho made large profits from the business.

Ho, along with partners, including Hong Kong tycoon Henry Fok, renowned Macau gambler Yip Hon and his brother-in-law Teddy Yip, bid for Macau franchises. By bidding high and promising to promote tourism and to develop infrastructure, they won the public tender for Macau's gaming monopoly. It cost approximately (US?)$410,000. In 1961, the company was renamed Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões de Macau, S.A.R.L. (STDM). Its flagship Lisboa Casino hotel business blossomed, and later became a famous international casino.

In the same year, Ho also set up Shun Tak Holdings Ltd, which was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Via subsidiary TurboJET, it owns one of the world's largest fleets of high-speed jetfoils, which ferry passengers between Hong Kong and Macau.

Ho's investments in Macau are diverse, and connected to various industries. In 1989, after STDM took full control of the Macau Jockey Club, Ho became its chairman and chief executive officer. In 1998, Ho became the first living Macau resident to have a local street named after him. He also launched Asia's first football and basketball lottery called SLOT. Ho also launched the DrHo888.com web site an online casino operated in partnership with Vancouver based Eyeball.com.

Stanley Ho is also named by the Canadian Government, citing a Manila Standard newspaper sources within the text, as having a link to the Kung Lok Triad (Chinese mafia) and linked to 'several illegal activities'.[4] during the period of 1999-2002 that the report was based on. Ho's ties to Chinese organized crime has also been reported by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, citing a U.S. Senate committee and several government agencies, when the state investigated his ties to American casino operator MGM Mirage.[5]

Current positions

Business

  • Chairman of the Shun Tak Group (信德集團)
  • Director of Shun Tak Shipping Company, Limited
  • Chairman of iAsia Technology Limited (亞洲網上交易科技有限公司)
  • Chairman of the Chinese Recreation Club in Hong Kong (CRC)

Community

  • President of Real Estate Developers Association of Hong Kong (香港地產建設商會)
  • Chairman of the board of directors of the University of Hong Kong Foundation for Educational Development and Research (香港大學教研發展基金董事局)
  • Member of the Court and Council of the University of Hong Kong (香港大學校董會)
  • Member of the Court of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • Vice patron of Community Chest of Hong Kong (香港公益金)
  • Member of the board of trustees of the Better Hong Kong Foundation
  • Patron of the Society of the Academy for Performing Arts (香港演藝學院)
  • Vice-president of the Association of Benefactors of Kiang Wu Hospital (鏡湖醫院) in Macau
  • Trustee of the Foundation for the Co-operation and development of Macau
  • Member of the Council of the University of Macau

Politics

In 1987, Portugal agreed to return Macau to China in 1999. Ho took part in the joint advisory committee. He is a Standing Committee member of the 9th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

Personal life

Ho handed over the reins of STDM to daughter Pansy Ho; His son, Lawrence Ho, is the CEO of Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd, another Macau-based casino company. Josie Ho (何超儀) is a rock singer and award winning actress. His grandchildren are a perennial subject of local social columns and paparazzi.

  • Ambassador Eric Hotung, who is a grandson of Sir Robert Hotung, is a second cousin of Ho.
  • One of Ho's sisters, Susie Ho, is the widow of one of his then partners, Teddy Yip.
  • Bruce Lee and Stanley Ho are cousins: Lee's mother, Grace Ho (何爱瑜) is the daughter of Ho Kom Tong (何甘棠), brother of Ho Fook, Stanley Ho's grandfather.

Ho remains active as of 2008 on the social calendar, occasionally making appearances in high-profile events such as charity fund-raising events.

Over the years, dancing has been one of Ho's favourite hobbies. He has expressed interest and excellence in tango, chacha, and waltz. He often performs dances to raise funds for charities on television, and sponsors numerous dance performances in Hong Kong and Macau. These include those of the Hong Kong Arts Festival and the Macau Arts Festival, to promote the art of dancing. Apart from sponsoring performances, he has also invited internationally renowned dancing groups, such as the National Ballet of China, to perform in Hong Kong and Macau. Ho is a patron of the Hong Kong Ballet, the International Dance Teachers Association and is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Dance

A thoroughbred racehorse owner, one of Stanley Ho's runners called Viva Pataca, named after the currency of Macau, won several top Hong Kong races in 2006 and 2007.

Stanley Ho suffered a fall late July, 2009 at his home and required brain surgery as a result. For seven months, Ho was confined to the Hong Kong Sanitorium and Hospital, making only one public appearance on December 20, 2009, where he traveled to Macau to meet the President of China, Hu Jin Tao, to celebrate the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of Macau returning to China during which he was confined to a wheelchair but appeared alert and coherent.

Ho was discharged from the Hong Kong Sanitarium and Hospital on the afternoon of March 6. He was wheeled out of the hospital surrounded by family, and reportedly will continue to receive medial treatment at home.[6]

Philanthropy

Qing relic

On 21 September 2007, Stanley Ho donated to the Chinese government a Qing dynasty bronze sculpture of a horse's head originally stolen from the Old Summer Palace. Ho had reportedly just purchased it from a Taiwanese businessman for US$8.84 million.[7]

Education donations

Ho has set up several scholarships to encourage students for further studies. He established the Guangzhou Education Fund which subsidizes research in universities. Other funds have been made for the Macau-Sino-Latin Foundation and the Chinese Culture and Arts Association of Macau.

He attended the 90th Anniversary ceremony of the University of Hong Kong, and shared stories about his university life with the public. He was the chairperson of the executive committee of the University of Hong Kong Foundation for Educational Development and Research. He gave donations to the University of Hong Kong for:

  • running facilities and accommodations, e.g. Stanley Ho Sports Centre, Flora Ho Sports Centre, Ricci Hall
  • maintenance, and to Lady Ho Tung Hall, which was established by the Ho family.

Stanley Ho pledged a ₤2.5m donation to Pembroke College, Oxford in 2006 to endow a chair - 'Stanley Ho University Lecturer in Chinese History'.[8] Ho has also funded scholarship of £9,000 per annum for Chinese studies in the academic year beginning 2009 at the University.[9]

Honours

Street renamed after Stanley Ho in Estoril, Portugal

Apart from the University of Hong Kong, Ho was awarded an honorary doctorate of social sciences from the University of Macau in 1984. He was appointed an OBE under Margaret Thatcher in 1989 for philanthropy.[10]

In 1998, Dr Stanley Ho Avenue in Macau was named after him, which made him the first Chinese person in Macau history to receive this honour during his lifetime. In 1995, the Portuguese government honoured him the Grã-Cruz da Ordem do Infante Dom Henrique (Great Cross of the Order of Prince Henrique), the highest honor for a civilian for his contributions to society.

In 2003, Ho received the Gold Bauhinia Star from the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Tung Chee Hwa, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the community, in promoting education, sports and other community services for the youth.

In 2008, Ho received the Medal for Business Entrepreneurialism from the City of Cascais and the avenue running adjacent to the Estoril Casino was renamed as Avenida Stanley Ho. It was the first time that road has been named after a living Chinese citizen in Portugal.[11]

In June 2009 he received the Visionary award at G2EAsia conference, organized by the American Gaming Association; the award was delivered by Chief Executive Edmund Ho.

See also

References

  1. ^ "The World's Billionaires". Forbes.com. 2009-03-11. http://www.forbes.com/lists/2009/10/billionaires-2009-richest-people_Stanley-Ho_UMEN.html. 
  2. ^ "Asia's Wealth Club: Who's Really Who in Business - The Top 100 Billionaires in Asia" ISBN 1-85788-162-1 - Geoff Hiscock.
  3. ^ "Billionaire Stanley Ho's struggles to adapt to new Macau", Channel News Asia, 14 July 2008
  4. ^ [www.loc.gov/rr/frd/pdf-files/AsianOrgCrime_Canada.pdf]
  5. ^ "N.J. Says Casino Magnate Has Mob Ties in China". http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/03/17/business/AP-US-MGM-Mirage-Pansy-Ho.html. 
  6. ^ http://mytv.tvb.com/news/newsat730/105320/1025#page-1
  7. ^ WSJ, In Macau, Moguls Bet Big on Donated Art
  8. ^ Dr Stanley Ho donates £2.5m to Oxford University towards the study of Chinese history, Press release, University of Oxford, 8 May 2007
  9. ^ Stanley Ho Scholarship, Pembroke College, retrieved 2 September 2008
  10. ^ Dominic Kennedy and James Doran, "Oxford takes gambling king’s cash", The Times, 26 May 2007
  11. ^ "Cascais honours Stanley Ho", Algarve Resident, 9 Oct 2008

External links

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