KUALA LUMPUR: Robert Kuok remains Malaysia’s wealthiest in Forbes’ latest annual ranking of the world’s billionaires, with Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos seizing the top spot for the first time.
Asia Pacific boasts the most number of billionaires at 827 with a total net worth of US$2.75 trillion.
There are 14 Malaysian billionaires in the list, with Kuok being ranked at No. 96 with US$14.8 billion. This was followed by Ananda Krishnan (No. 217, US$7.2 billion), Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan (No. 217, US$7.2 billion), Tan Sri Teh Hong Piow (No. 289, US$6.0 billion) and Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng (No. 321, US$5.6 billion).
Bezos has a fortune of US$112 billion, up US$39.2 billion from 2017, the biggest one-year gain ever.
Bill Gates, who had been the richest person in the world for 18 of the past 24 years, dropped to No. 2.
Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma ranked 20th while Donald Trump ranked 766th.
Forbes said a record 2,208 billionaires, up from 2,043 in 2017, made the list, with an average net worth of US$4.1 billion, a record high.
The total combined net worth of this year’s billionaires was US$9.1 trillion, up from US$7.7 trillion last year, with 1,490 members being self-made billionaires, up from 1,371 in 2017.
The Forbes Billionaires list is a snapshot of wealth taken on February 9 this year.
Forbes used that day’s stock prices and exchange rates from around the world.
It lists individuals rather than multigenerational families who share large fortunes.
In some cases siblings and couples are listed together if the ownership breakdown among them isn’t clear, however they still must be worth on average a minimum of US$1 billion apiece to make the cut.
The full list is at www.forbes.com/billionaires.