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TheStreet Open House

'The Warren Buffett of Asia'

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Li Ka-shing's business savvy and acumen in real estate investing have helped him become one of the world's richest individuals and earned him a number of nicknames including "Superman" and the "Warren Buffett of Asia."

Like the actual Professor Buffett, when this financier makes a move, investors tend to listen.

Li has amassed his great fortune through business ventures which have tapped into a vast number of industries and market slices. The financier has stakes in sectors, including retail, energy, manufacturing, and real estate.

Aside from running his successful businesses, Li is an avid philanthropist. According to its Website, the Li Ka-Shing Foundation aims "to nurture a culture of giving and to foster creativity, constructive engagement, and sustainability through supporting capacity empowerment focused projects."

While he is currently ranked the second richest man in Asia, Li has not always had this kind of financial stability.

Li was born in 1928 in Southeast China. In 1940, his family, looking to avoid the perils of war, left their home for Hong Kong, where his family stayed with a wealthy uncle whose wealth Li envied. When he was just 15 years old, Li was forced to quit school and enter the workforce to support his family after his father passed away.

In 1950, after years of hard work, Li was able to start his own company: a plastics manufacturing plant called Cheung Kong Industries.

As the head of Cheung Kong, Li watched not only his business, but his personal wealth, blossom. By the mid-1980s, the firm had gained a listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and acquired two additional firms: Hutchison Whampoa and Hongkong Electric Holdings Limited.

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