Wealth of Malaysia’s 50 richest has fallen 10% y-o-y, says Forbes

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KUALA LUMPUR (June 9): The combined wealth of tycoons on the 2022 Forbes list of Malaysia’s 50 richest fell 10% from a year ago to US$80.5 billion (about RM353.92 billion).

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In a statement on Thursday (June 9), Forbes said that overall, 30 on the list saw their wealth decline.

Forbes said that buoyed partly by a recovery in domestic demand, Malaysia’s economy grew 5% in the first quarter of 2022, overcoming pandemic pains as well as the impact of flash floods in December.

It said while the stock market dipped slightly in the past 12 months, currency fluctuations saw the ringgit drop 6%.

Forbes said that Kuok group founder Robert 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.

Hong Leong Company (Malaysia) chairman Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan 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.

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

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

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Meanwhile, Forbes said Malaysia’s rubber glove makers, who were among last year’s biggest winners, faced a stark reality check.

The magazine said demand for personal protective gear deflated as the pandemic abated, knocking down shares of their companies.

Forbes said the wealth of Kuan Kam Hon of Hartalega Holdings Bhd (No. 11, US$1.9 billion) and Top Glove Corp Bhd’s Lim Wee Chai (No. 14, US$1.4 billion) fell the most in dollar terms.

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

Forbes said the collective wealth of this group of five, which includes Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd’s Tan Sri Lim Kuang Sia (No. 24, US$740 million) and Wong Teek Son of Riverstone Holdings (No. 30, US$565 million), was down more than US$5.7 billion.

The top 10 richest in Malaysia are:

1) Robert Kuok; US$11 billion
2) Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan; US$10.1 billion
3) Koon Poh Keong & siblings; US$6.2 billion
4) Tan Sri Teh Hong Piow; US$5.7 billion
5) Ananda Krishnan; US$5 billion
6) Lee Yeow Chor & Yeow Seng; US$4.8 billion
7) Tan Sri Chen Lip Keong; US$2.7 billion
8) Tan Yu Yeh & Yu Wei; US$2.4 billion
9) Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay; US$2.35 billion
10) Lau Cho Kun; US$2 billion

-The Edge Market