Malaysia's 50 richest on Forbes list see slight fall in collective wealth

SINGAPORE: The combined wealth of tycoons on the 2022 Forbes list of Malaysia's 50 richest fell 10 per cent from a year ago to US$80.5 billion (RM353 billion) while Kuok group's legendary founder Tan Sri Robert Kuok still holds his long-standing No.1 spot.

"Overall, 30 on the list saw their wealth decline," Forbes Asia said in announcing the list today.

The complete list can be found at, as well as in the June issue of Forbes Asia.

"Buoyed partly by a recovery in domestic demand, Malaysia's economy grew 5.0 per cent in the first quarter of 2022, overcoming pandemic pains, as well as the impact of flash floods in December.

"While the stock market dipped slightly in the past 12 months, currency fluctuations saw the ringgit drop 6.0 per cent," it said.

Forbes Asia noted that Kuok held on to his long-standing No.1 spot though his fortune dropped to US$11 billion from US$12.2 billion last year.

Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan, chairman of Hong Leong Company (Malaysia), however, was the biggest gainer in dollar terms and consolidated his position as Malaysia's second richest person with US$10.1 billion.

He added US$500 million to his net worth of US$9.6 billion last year.

Tan Sri Koon Poh Keong and his siblings, who control aluminum giant Press Metal, remained in third position with US$6.2 billion, nearly flat from a year ago.

Rounding out the top five are Public Bank founder and chairman Tan Sri Teh Hong Piow (No. 4, US$5.7 billion) and Tan Sri Ananda Krishnan (No. 5, US$5 billion), whose holdings include stakes in telecom outfit Maxis and oilfield services provider Bumi Armada.

"Malaysia's rubber glove makers, who were among last year's biggest winners, faced a stark reality check. Demand for personal protective gear deflated as the pandemic abated, knocking down shares of their companies," it said.

The wealth of Kuan Kam Hon of Hartalega Holdings (No. 11, US$1.9 billion) and Top Glove's Tan Sri Lim Wee Chai (No. 14, US$1.4 billion) fell the most in dollar terms.

Husband and wife duo Datuk Seri Stanley Thai and Cheryl Tan of Supermax (No. 45) saw the biggest percentage drop in their wealth, shrinking by more than two-thirds to US$340 million.

The collective wealth of this group of five, who include Tan Sri Lim Kuang Sia of Kossan Rubber Industries (No. 24, US$740 million) and Wong Teek Son of Riverstone Holdings (No. 30, US$565 million), dropped more than US$5.7 billion.

"Indonesia's temporary ban on edible oil exports amid a drop in Malaysia's palm oil production resulted in windfall gains for tycoons in that sector," said Forbes Asia.

The fortune shared by US-educated brothers Tan Sri Lee Oi Hian and Datuk Lee Hau Hian (No. 12, US$1.6 billion) got a boost of more than a third as shares of their company Batu Kawan and its plantation subsidiary soared on rising profits.

Tan Sri Ling Chiong Ho (No. 36, US$425 million), one of two returnees this year, makes his comeback after a four-year gap as shares of Sarawak Oil Palm, the flagship of his Shin Yang group, rallied.

Meanwhile, the March listing of dairy producer Farm Fresh propelled Loi Tuan Ee (No. 43), who shares a US$380 million fortune with two siblings, onto the list for the first time.

The company, which Loi and his brother Loi Tuan Kin started in 2007 and which went on to get the backing of Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional, has five dairy farms in Malaysia and one in Australia.

The minimum net worth to make the list was $255 million, down from US$315 million in 2021.

The top 10 richest in Malaysia are:

1) Robert Kuok; US$11 billion (RM48.36 billion)

2) Quek Leng Chan; US$10.1 billion (RM44.40 billion)

3) Koon Poh Keong & siblings; US$6.2 billion (RM27.26 billion)

4) Teh Hong Piow; US$5.7 billion (RM25.06 billion)

5) Ananda Krishnan; US$5 billion (RM21.98 billion)

6) Lee Yeow Chor & Yeow Seng; US$4.8 billion (RM21.10 billion)

7) Chen Lip Keong; US$2.7 billion (RM11.87 billion)

8) Tan Yu Yeh & Yu Wei; US$2.4 billion (RM10.55 billion)

9) Lim Kok Thay; US$2.35 billion (RM10.33 billion)

10) Lau Cho Kun; US$2 billion (RM8.79 billion)

Forbes Asia said the list was compiled using shareholding and financial information obtained from the families and individuals, stock exchanges, annual reports, and analysts.

The ranking lists both individual and family fortunes, including those shared among relatives. Private companies were valued based on similar companies that are publicly traded.

Net worths were based on stock prices and exchange rates as at the close of markets on May 20, 2022.

The list can also include foreign citizens with business, residential or other ties to the country, or citizens who do not reside in the country but have significant business or other ties to the country, it said. -- BERNAMA

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