Chan Hoi Wan, wife of tycoon Joseph Lau, becomes Hong Kong's richest woman with S$9 billion fortune

Chan Hoi Wan (right) with her then-boyfriend Joseph Lau and their daughter Josephine in Hong Kong in 2014. PHOTO: APPLE DAILY

Former entertainment journalist Chan Hoi Wan has come a long way. Not only has she become a celebrity in her own right, but she is now officially the richest woman in Hong Kong, worth some HK$50 billion (S$9 billion).

She claimed the mantle after her husband, property tycoon Joseph Lau, transferred an estimated HK$11.3 billion worth of shares in property firm Chinese Estates to her on Wednesday (March 1), citing his poor health.

Ms Chan, 37, now holds a 50.02 per cent stake in Chinese Estates, where she is also an executive director.

Ms Chan's fortune has increased dramatically recently. She received a HK$18 billion gift in January from her husband in the form of an entire retail complex at commercial building The One.

She tied the knot with Mr Lau, 65, in December last year, after being in a relationship for more than 10 years. The couple have two children together - a son and a daughter.

Mr Lau told Apple Daily in November: "(Chan) is not greedy. She is pure, and she is not a bad woman. She has been taking care of me and my children. She has a kind heart."

Mr Lau was ranked fourth in Forbes' latest list of the 50 richest people in Hong Kong. He was also convicted of bribery in March last year by a Macau court but has not served time behind bars due to the lack of an extradition treaty between Hong Kong and Macau.

According to the South China Morning Post, he has been suffering from renal failure, heart disease and diabetes, and has occasionally been bedridden.

Rumours that the transfer of assets to Ms Chan was due to Mr Lau's death proved unfounded when the businessman made an appearance at his company's headquarters on Thursday.

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