Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Robert Kuok tops Forbes’ rich list in Malaysia

Billionaire Robert Kuok weathered the tough market conditions to retain his crown as Malaysia's richest businessman for the 11th straight year. The 92-year-old founder of Kuok Group, also popularly known as Malaysia's "Sugar King", retained his top spot on Forbes Malaysia's rich list with a net worth of US$10 billion (RM42.1 billion), despite the pummelling of many Malaysian fortunes over the past year, a statement from Forbes Asia said. "With the stock market falling 8.7% and the ringgit losing 12.6% of its value against the dollar, it was a difficult year for Malaysian tycoons," the statement said. "The slowdown in China and the continuing political showdown in the capital also hurt business. The worldwide oil and gas depression also took a toll on fortunes related to that industry." Telecommunication mogul Ananda Krishnan, whose wealth dropped US$2.3 billion (RM9.69 billion) to US$7.4 billion (RM31.17 billion) this year, is at the No. 2 spot. Forbes Asia said shares of Maxis, his flagship telecom outfit, fell on the government's proposal to redistribute and auction telecom spectrum, sparking concerns of an expensive bidding war while his pay TV operator, Astro Malaysia, saw its stock rattled after Netflix entered the Malaysian market in January. Hong Leong Group's Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan retained his No. 3 position despite his net worth declining US$300 million (RM1.26 billion) from a year ago to US$5.3 billion (RM22.3 billion). No. 9 on the list is Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar AlBukhary, whose net worth is half of what it was a year ago at US$1.45 billion (RM6.11 billion), down from US$2.9 billion (RM12.2 billion). One of the hardest hit on this year's list was technology tycoon Goh Peng Ooi, founder and major shareholder of Singapore-listed Silverlake Axis Ltd, who dropped out of the billionaire ranks after his wealth dropped 53% to US$725 million (RM3.05 billion). Goh had a net worth of US$1.55 billion a year ago, but in August his stock fell after an anonymous short-seller said his financial software company, Silverlake Axis, inflated its results. Adding to the list of prominent businessmen who have dropped out of the billionaire list is tycoon and founder of Berjaya Group Tan Sri Vincent Tan (No. 17, US$900 million or RM3.79 billion) and his brother Tan Sri Danny Tan (No. 13, US$975 million or RM4.11 billion). The minimum net worth to make the list this year is US$195 million (RM821.24 million), down from US$240 million (RM1.01 billion). The top 10 richest in Malaysia are: 1) Robert Kuok: US$10 billion 2) Ananda Krishnan: U$7.4 billion 3) Quek Leng Chan: U$5.3 billion 4) Tan Sri Teh Hong Piow: U$4.65 billion 5) Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng: U$4.6 billion 6) Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay: U$4.55 billion 7) Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay: U$2.25 billion 8) Tan Sri Lau Cho Kun: U$1.55 billion 9) Syed Mokhtar AlBukhary: U$1.45 billion 10) Datuk Surin Upatkoon: U$1.15 billion. – The Edge Markets, February 25, 2016.]]>

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