- Published on Tuesday, 21 March 2017 11:28
Forbes’ most richest people in the world list is back, and as Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates (US$86 billion) claims the throne yet again for the fourth year, US President Donald Trump slips more than 200 spots (at 544 with a net worth of $3.5 biliion) – Malaysia too has seen its fair share of billionaires rising and slipping down the ranking as well earlier this month.
While the global population of billionaires jumped 13 per cent from last year to a record 2,043, the biggest annual increase in the 31 years since the Forbes’ first list, below are the top 10 richest Malaysians and their rankings in the world, as compiled by Forbes using information from the individuals, stock exchanges, analysts, private data bases, government agencies and other sources.
1. Robert Kuok ($11.4 B)
At 93, Kuok is the oldest among the rest of the billionaires in the top 10 list. The tycoon of Kuok Group has been Malaysia's richest person for a long time. His biggest source of wealth is stake in Wilmar International, the world's largest listed palm oil company aside from high-end hotel chain Shangri-La, and Kerry Properties. Meanwhile, in the same list as Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Kuok stands at 115.
2. Quek Leng Chan ($6.8 B)
Boasting wealth in finance, property and food sectors, Leng Chan heads the Hong Leong Co. (Malaysia) conglomerate and expanded his empire in Hong Kong, Guoco Group Ltd which he owns about 76%. Leng Chan meanwhile stands at number 202 in the world, in the same ranks of billionaire Frederk Paulsen and Abdulla bin Ahmad Al Ghurair and family.
3. Ananda Krishnan ($6.5 B)
The 78-year-old dropped to third spot as his wealth declined due to his debt-laden Indian telecom firm Aircel with Indian billionaire Anil Ambani's Reliance Communications. He is however the 219th richest billionaire in the world even ahead of Richard Branson.
4. Hong Piow Teh ($4.75 B)
The founder and chairman of Public Bank rose from a bank clerk in Overseas-Chinese Banking Corporation Ltd to the position he is at today, with the bulk of his wealth due to 24% of the third-largest banking group’s assets. Hong is placed 348th in the world rankings aside IOI Groups Lee Shin Cheng.
5. Lee Shin Cheng ($4.7 B)
With at least 175,000 hectares of land planted with oil palms, according to its 2015 annual report, the founder and chairman of IOI Corp is a conglomerate managing oil palm plantations, producing specialty fats and oleochemicals. He also owns more than half of developer IOI Properties Group which develops property in Malaysia, Indonesia, the United States, and Europe. Lee is tied with Hong Piow Teh at the 348th spot in the world.
6. Lim Kok Thay ($4.45 B)
The son to Genting Group tycoon Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong has fallen slightly in net worth by 2.2% due to the weaker ringgit. However, the share price of his Genting Bhd. has risen since November. Apart its Resorts World Las Vegas in 2019, the group is also waiting to roll out its 20th Century Fox theme park in Genting Malaysia. He sits comfortably under the top 400 rankings of billionaires in the world.
7. Yeoh Tiong Lay ($2.1 B)
Dropping from his $2.25 billion net worth, the YTL Corp tycoon still remains his spot at 7th in Malaysia. His wealth is attributed to businesses in sectors such as utilities, cement manufacturing, hotels and property development, boasting a 2,000-acre land bank in Malaysia as well as PowerSeraya, Singapore's second-largest power plant. In the world, Yeoh is ranked 973.
8. Lau Cho Kun ($2.08 B)
Like Yeoh, the 81-year-old Sabah native retains his 8th spot in Malaysia’s richest list, however is placed 973 in the world. Forbes notes the share price of his Hap Seng Consolidated has been enjoying a steady upward trend, especially after news in 2016 of its joint venture with Naza TTDI, a township development specialist, to develop Met 5, which consists of residential blocks, offices and a 4-star hotel on an 8.95 acre plot.
9. Tiong Hiew King ($2 B)
Newcomer on this year’s top 10, founder and chairman of Rimbunan Hijau Group, built his fortunes from timber concessions and palm oil plantations. Tiong’s most valuable asset is stated to be his privately held Oregon Group, which is based in New Zealand and builds housing developments and hotels, harvests salmon and logs and manufactures plastic containers. The man who used to tap rubber in his teenage years is now the 1,030 richest billionaires in the world.
10. Syed Mokhtar AlBukhary ($1.8 B)
The corporate figure despite dropping in the Malaysian richest list has rose in net worth from last year’s $1.45 billion due to a $4.5 billion construction booked for his flagship MMC Corp. The project is part of the Klang Valley mass transit system which sees MMC involved with the design and construction of tunnels, underground stations and escape shafts for the second line of the system. This increase puts the high school dropout at 1,161 in the world.
Wrapping up the world's top three richest list this year is Warren Buffett with a net worth of $75.6 billion, up from $60.8 billion in 2016 and Amazon (AMZN, Tech30) founder Jeff Bezos who appears in the spot the for the first time, with a net worth $72.8 billion.
See the full list of the World’s Richest People 2017 here.