Hong Kong's Kwok family, which controls Sun Hung Kai Properties, was ranked third in the latest Forbes magazine's list of Asia's richest families released on Wednesday.

With an estimated net worth of US$40.4 billion, the family controlling one of the city's biggest landlords and real estate developers, topped the list from Hong Kong. Raymond Kwok Ping-luen heads the developer as its chairman and managing director.

Asia's richest man, Li Ka-shing, who has an estimated net worth of US$34 billion, was excluded as he does not have any grandchildren who have taken serious roles in his business empire.

To make the cut, a family must have a minimum net wealth of US$5 billion, up from US$3.4 billion a year ago. And at least three generations must have participated in building the family's wealth, the magazine said.

Ranked sixth was the family of tycoon Lee Shau-kee, with an estimate wealth of US$29 billion, followed by the Cheng family headed by Henry Cheng Kar-shun, with a net worth of US$22.5 billion.

Lee is the chairman of Henderson Land Development, while Cheng chairs New World Development, both among Hong Kong's largest developers and conglomerates.

The total wealth of Asia's 50 richest families on the latest Forbes list rose to a record US$699 billion, an increase of 35 per cent from last year.
The total wealth of Asia's 50 richest families on the latest Forbes list rose to a record US$699 billion

India's Ambani family, with some US$44.8 billion of assets, was ranked Asia's richest for the first time, jumping from third spot in 2016. They overtook South Korea's Lee family, who control the Samsung Group and have a net worth of US$40.8 billion.

Second generation Mukesh Ambani's conglomerate Reliance Industries' shares have soared in the past year thanks to rising valuation of its telecom arm, Reliance Jio, raising the family's net worth by US$19 billion.

As one of the largest 4G network operators in India, Jio boasts 140 million subscribers.

Reliance, which operates the world's largest oil refining complex, also benefited from the highest per barrel refining profit margin in nine years.

The wealth of the Lee family soared US$11.2 billion in the past year as the share price of Samsung Electronics, the world's second largest information technology company by revenue, rose 75 per cent.

Read the original article on South China Morning Post. For the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2017.

More from South China Morning Post: