Friday, May 23, 2008


Robert Kuok continues to top Malaysia’s rich list


Malaysian tycoon Tan Sri Robert Kuok continues to maintain his lead position as Malaysia’s richest man in the latest Forbes Asia’s rich list. According to Forbes Asia, Kuok, 84, who has many businesses, including Hong Kong property and media interests, and most notably palm oil giant Wilmar, increased his net worth from US$2.4 billion last year to hit US$10 billion. The latest ranking list also saw Berjaya Corp’s Tan Sri Vincent Tan joining the billionaires’ club, Forbes Asia said in a news release here. There are 10 billionaires in the list this year, one more than last year. Tan, who rose from 14th to ninth position, has a net worth of US$1.3 billion, up nearly US$1 billion from last year. Forbes Asia said Tan’s company, Berjaya Corporation, had bucked the trend with its stock price up nearly three-fold over the past 12 months. Tan reigns over a vast US$4 billion — combined sales — network of enterprises spanning industries such as gaming, media, telecom, consumer products and retail as well as real estate. Still in second place is Ananda Krishnan who heads telecom company Maxis. But his wealth dipped to US$7.2 billion, which is US$200 million less than last year. The third richest in the list is 101 Corporation’s group executive chairman Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng who was ranked fourth last year but as the oil palm plantation giant soared in value, his wealth rose from US$1.6 billion to US$5.5 billion, Forbes Asia said. The highest new entry is Puan Sri Lee Kim Hua, widow of renowned gaming tycoon Tan Sri Lim Goh Tang who was ranked third last year but died in October. She and her family are worth US$3.4 billion and ranked fifth, even as son Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, who runs Genting, is listed on his own with US$345 million, putting him in 15th place. Lee is one of three women on the list alongside Selangor Properties’ chairman Puan Sri Chong Chook Yew, ranked 24th (US$245 million), and daughter of the Sultan of Perak, Raja Datuk Seri Eleena Raja Azlan Shah, ranked 35th (US$150 million). Among the newcomers is Datuk Nazir Razak, group chief executive of CIMB Group and the youngest son of second Prime Minister, the late Tun Abdul Razak Hussein. Nazir managed to scrape into the 40th position as the last richest Malaysian in Forbes Asia’s top 40 with a net worth of US$100 million. The collective wealth of the top 40 is US$46 billion, up US$3 billion from last year. While 16 people managed to add to their wealth, 18 saw their net worth slipped, with seven of them losing at least a quarter of their worth. Tan Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary, the richest Malay tycoon and a billionaire, dropped one position from seventh to eighth after his net worth was reduced by US$200 million to US$1.8 billion. The Malaysia Rich List appears in the June 2 issue of Forbes Asia. The top 10 richest in Malaysia are:
1) Robert Kuok, US$10 billion.
2) Ananda Krishnan, US$7.2 billion.
3) Lee Shin Cheng, US$5.5 billion.
4) Teh Hong Piow, US$3. 5billion.
5) Lee Kim Hua & family, US$3.4 billion.
6) Quek Leng Chan, US$2.4 billion.
7) Yeoh Tiong Lay & family, US$2.1 billion.
8) Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary, US$1.8 billion.
9) Vincent Tan, US$1.3 billion.
10) Tiong Hiew King, US$1.1 billion.