Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan was a young lawyer (28) when he crossed over to build the Malaysian Hong Leong group

October 25, 2022


He was a young lawyer (28) when he first crossed the Causeway to expand the Hong Leong group in Malaysia. It was in the mid-1960s. None of the wealthy Kwek / Quek clan in Singapore who were traders and distributors, plantation owners, manufacturers  and property developers and managing the powerful Hong Leong Finance Limited wanted to take up the challenge. Quek Leng Chan did. He is the eldest son of Kwek Hong Lye, third of the 4 Kwek brothers who built the powerful Hong Leong Group, the others are  Kwek Hong Png (Chairman/Founder)  Kwek Hong Khai and Kwek Hong Leong. Perhaps remaining in Singapore would mean always being in the shadow of his cousin, Kwek Leng Beng, the Chairman's son. 

Both Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan and his cousin, Kwek Leng Beng, have done the Kwek/Quek clan proud in the way they have built upon the success of their fathers and uncles on both sides of the Causeway. Both are billionaires and in the start of their 80s now. Tan Sri Quek is ranked by Forbes as the second richest man in Malaysia with a net worth of US$9.9 billion as at 22 August 2022. 

Reuters in August 2022 reported the breaking news that Tan Sri Quek was exploring the possibility of reducing his stake in Hong Leong Bank. Should any deal be in the making, an announcement would have to be made under the listing rules of Bursa Malaysia so it will all come to light if Hong Leong Bank changes hands. 

Hong Leong Bank Berhad (“HLB”) is Malaysia’s fifth largest banking group by assets with over RM237.1 billion in assets as at 30 June 2021. HLB is a 64.23% subsidiary of Hong Leong Financial Group Berhad. Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan is deemed beneficially interested in the 64.23% stake via a private company Hong Leong Company (Malaysia) Berhad.

While many may know that Tan Sri Quek bought MUI Bank from Tan Sri Khoo Kay Peng in Jan 1994 and he also has stakes in several listed companies in Bursa Malaysia besides the Hong Leong financial services group and has recently teamed up with TPG to buy 17 Columbia Asia hospitals. 

Read more about the Hong Leong Group in our ePublication at sparrowsph.my