The Hong Kong executive earning the top dollar

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Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing (left), with Canning Fok Kin-ning, announces his retirement in Hong Kong in March. Photo: Reuters/Bobby Yip

Tycoon Li Ka-shing’s top man earns a yearly salary of HK$100 million, plus bonuses, making him one of the highest paid executives in Hong Kong.

It comes as no surprise that Li regularly wrote big checks for his right-hand man Canning Fok Kin-ning, who is in charge of the European mobile empire, every year since 1999 when Li’s Hutchison earned a record profit of HK$117.3 billion.

In 2017, the 66-year-old CK Hutchison co-managing director pocketed another HK$210.53 million, an increase of 5% from a year earlier. The bonus from last year was a whopping HK$197 million, easily making him the king of all workers in Hong Kong.

With an annual HK$200 million pay check since 2015, Fok has taken home about HK$3.2 billion since he was made a director of Li’s company in 1985.

Read: Heir to tycoon’s ailing empire waits anxiously in the wings

Fok made more than HK$500,000 a day, the equivalent of a three-year salary for the average Hong Kong worker, who makes HK$15,500 per month. In other words, what he made in one year takes an average worker 1,095 years to earn. He also made much more than most owners of the listed companies in Hong Kong.

No doubt Fok also has the highest tax bill in Hong Kong, considering the amount of money he’s earned. But he is dwarfed by Tencent Holdings President Martin Lau Chi-ping, who has about HK$19 billion worth of shares in the largest company in Hong Kong by market capitalization.

Fok, however, topped Victor Li Tzar-kuoi, the eldest son of Li, who will take over as chairman next month while remaining a co-managing director.

Victor Li made HK$190 million in 2017, an increase of 10% on the year before. His remuneration was mainly from CK Asset (HK$89 million), CK Hutchison (HK$69 million) and CK Infrastructure (HK$32 million).

Not many Hong Kong-listed company executives make this much. Former HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver, for example, made 6.08 million pounds (HK$67.16 million), higher than blue-chip Bank of East Asia chairman David Li, who saw his salary rise 61% to HK$46.9 million.

In comparison to Fok in terms of length of service, Wharf (Holdings) chairman Stephen Ng Tin-hoi, 66, last year made HK$92.13 million, including a HK$72.6 million discretionary one-off Special Entrepreneurial Merit Award for selling fixed-line business Wharf T&T.

Read: Simon Murray on what made Li Ka-shing different

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