Billionaire tycoon Robert Kuok may have made his fortune in dominating the sugar market in Malaysia, but one does not build a billion-dollar empire without investing in various business sectors
The media-shy tycoon owns Kuok Group, which has business interests in eight key divisions - properties, hospitality, logistics, media, maritime, commodities, environmental, and philanthropy
Kuok Group manages, operates, and/or have investments in several companies based all over the world, including PPB Group Berhad, Federal Flour Mills (FFM) Berhad, Kerry Properties, Chemquest, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts (founded by Kuok in 1971), and Wilmar International, the world's largest listed palm oil trader company.
From 1959 to 2009, Kuok also founded and had a major stake in the Malayan Sugar Manufacturing Company (MSM). The company dominated 80% of the local sugar market and 10% of the world's sugar market, hence earning Kuok the nickname "Sugar King of Asia".
With such a diverse portfolio, there's no doubt that we've come across some well-known brands that we probably didn't know are owned or managed by the business tycoon and his companies. Here are some of them:
1. Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts
The first Shangri-La hotel, built in 1971 in Singapore, marked Kuok's first foray into property and hotel development.
Today, the chain owns five hospitality brands across different market segments (Shangri-La Hotels, Shangri-La Resorts, Traders Hotels, Kerry Hotels, and Hotel Jen) and has over 95 hotels and resorts in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, North America, and Australia.
2. Cap Sauh (or Anchor Brand) flour
Cap Sauh is one of the products manufactured under the Kuok Group-owned FFM Berhad.
3. Blue Key flour
Also a product division under FFM Berhad, Blue Key carries a wide range of packaged flour - Self-Raising flour, Pau flour, and Superfine Superwhite multi-purpose flour.
4. Massimo bread and other baked goods
Aside from loaf bread, Massimo also offers cream rolls and chiffon cupcakes.
5. Marina frozen food and canned food
6. Seri Murni cooking oil, eggs, and frozen food
7. Neptune cooking oil
8. Krystal canola, corn, and sunflower seed cooking oils
9. Shamu nata de coco and canned beverages
10. Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC)
Between 1982 to 1984, Kuok Group acquired a 34% stake in Shaw Brothers Malaysia. In 1987, the group entered into a joint venture with Hong Kong company Golden Harvest (International) Ltd to take over the cinema chain to form GSC, eventually buying over Golden Harvest's stake to gain 100% equity over the chain.
Today, GSC is the largest cinema chain in Malaysia, operating in 36 locations nationwide.
Under FFM Berhad and PPB Group Berhad, Kuok Group also manages and markets the following external agency products in Malaysia:
11. V-Soy soybean milk
12. Jordan toothbrushes and oral care products
13. Snow Brand infant formula, milk powder, and Neo Soft spread
14. Star Brand food flavouring and colouring
15. Goodmaid household cleaning products
16. Blacktop insecticide and mosquito coils
17. Cocorex bleach
18. S&P coconut milk and coconut cream powder
S&P also carried herbal soup spices as well as packaged ketupat and kerisik (dessicated coconut).
19. Kart's frozen food
Kart's range of frozen foods include roti canai, paus, doughnut, pizza, puffy pie, roti boom, and murtabak.
Writer's Note: A previous edition of this list inaccurately included Orang Kampung herbal drink. It has been brought to our attention that neither Robert Kuok nor his companies own nor manage the brand, hence we have removed it from the list. We deeply apologise for the confusion and incorrect information.