Rising Fortunes In Malaysia
Suzanne Nam, 03.02.11, 06:00 PM EST
Many of the country's richest have benefited from the leap in global commodity prices.
In Pictures: Malaysia's 40 Richest
Malaysia's economy grew 7.2% last year, the highest rate since 2000, and it might not be much slower. The fortunes of the country's 40 richest have kept rising too. They are worth a collective $62.1 billion, $11.1 billion more than last year.
Still Nos. 1 and 2 are Robert Kuok and Ananda Krishnan, worth $12.5 billion and $9.5 billion, respectively. The country's biggest gainer was Lee Kim Hua, widow of Genting founder Lim Goh Tong. Genting's shares took off when the company's Singapore operations on Sentosa Island opened, pumping up the family's net worth by $2.7 billion, to $6.6 billion. Chen Lip Keong (No. 26) was another big gainer who makes his money off of gambling. His net worth more than doubled to $375 million.
Chia Song Kun is the only newcomer on the list. Shares in his QL Resources, the seafood, egg production and palm oil company he, his brothers and his brothers-in-law founded, have doubled since last year, earning him a spot at No. 24.
Many of the country's richest are reaping the benefits of the global rise in commodity prices. Shares in Mokhzani Mahathir's oil and gas services company, Kencana Petroleum, are up 63% since last year's list. Brothers Lee Oi Hian and Lee Hau Hian saw their combined fortune jump 60% to $900 million, thanks to a boost in the share price of their palm oil and chemicals company, Batu Kawan.
Not everyone is getting richer on higher commodity prices. Lim Wee Chai, who controls the world's largest rubber-glove maker, was one of just four on the list who saw their fortunes decline. His Top Glove has been battered by higher rubber costs. Billionaire Vincent Tan, at No. 9, is also poorer than he was last year.
The Malaysia list includes fortunes that are shared among extended families. The list was compiled using shareholding and financial information obtained from the families and individuals, stock exchanges, analysts and the Companies Commission of Malaysia. Net worths are based on stock prices and exchange rates as of Feb. 14, 2011. Private companies were valued based on comparisons with prevailing earnings or other financial ratios.
Additional reporting by Caroline Chen, Mee-Hyoe Koo, Noelle Lim, Brian Mertens and Lan Anh Nguyen.
12,500 millions age: 87
Lee Kim Hua
Lee Shin Cheng
Quek Leng Chan
Teh Hong Piow
Yeoh Tiong Lay
Syed Mokhtar AlBukhary
Tiong Hiew King
Lee Oi Hian & Lee Hau Hian
Lim Kok Thay
William H. J. Cheng
Shahril & Shahriman Shamsuddin