KUALA LUMPUR: The YTL Group of companies, founded by the late Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay, started as a small construction company and grew to become one of the largest Malaysian conglomerates.
Yeoh, who was executive chairman of YTL Corp and YTL Power International, passed away today at the age of 88.
The success of YTL Group over the years had earned Yeoh a net worth of US$2.1 billion (RM8.8 billion), and ranked him seventh in the latest Forbes’ Malaysia ‘50 richest’ list.
The YTL Group, which has been a partner in every stage of Malaysia’s growth, started back in 1955 as a Kuala Selangor construction company, predominantly working on defence and security installations. It later ventured into agricultural projects in the 1970s.
By the 1980s the company branched out into housing development, and was the first to build a condominium in the yet-to-boom Johor Baru property market — Indera Putra Courts, located along Jalan Indera Putra.
In the 1990s, YTL ventured into airports and power plants before branching into the communications, waterworks and environment sector a decade later.
Today, its massive operations comprise of power generation, water and sewerage services, merchant multi-utilities, communications, construction contracting, property development and investment, manufacturing of cement and other industrial products and supplies, hotel development and management (including restaurant operations), and the provision of consultancy, incubating and advisory services for Internet businesses and Internet based education solutions and services.
YTL Corp is amongst the 30 largest companies listed on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia Securities Bhd, forming one of the component companies of the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI of the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI, the stock exchange’s primary benchmark index.
YTL Corp is the parent company of three other listed entities — YTL Power International Bhd, YTL Land & Development Bhd and YTL Hospitality REIT.
The group has a stake in Starhill Global Real Estate Investment Trust, which is listed on the Mainboard of the SGX-ST, the Singapore stock exchange.
YTL Corp also has a secondary listing on the Tokyo Stock Exchange since 1996, the first non-Japanese Asian company to list on the Tokyo exchange.
In a statement, YTL Corp managing director and Yeoh’s eldest son, Tan Sri Francis Yeoh, said under his father’s leadership, the YTL Group expanded from its base in Malaysia to encompass operations and projects across the globe.
“The growth and development of the YTL Group was always rooted in our chairman’s determination to build a strong, responsible and sustainable company for the benefit of his family, employees, business partners and the wider community, and this is his legacy.
“His work ethic was exemplary and his humility is testimony to the great man and leader that he was. We will miss him greatly,” he said.