Malaysia has most number of billionaires in South-East Asia
Published: Thursday March 11, 2010 MYT 8:51:00 PMPETALING JAYA: Malaysia has the most number of billionaires in South-East Asia with tycoon Tan Sri Robert Kuok leading the pack as the 33rd richest man in the world with a net worth of US$14.5bil (RM48.1bil).The former Sugar King, 86, was among nine Malaysians who made it into the 2010 Forbes List of the World’s Billionaires which listed 1,011 billionaires.He shared the 33rd spot with US-based Microsoft Corp’s Steven Ballmer.The Kuok Group patriarch, up from his 62nd spot last year, was also named the seventh richest man in Asia.
The second-richest billionaire from South-East Asia after Kuok was at a distant 201st spot, from the Philippines.
With a net worth of US$7.6bil (RM25.2bil), telecommunications giant Tan Sri Ananda Krishnan was listed as the 89th richest man in the world and the 14th richest in Asia. He shared the 89th spot with three others.Three other Malaysians made it into the top 300 list of billionaires with IOI Corporation Bhd’s Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng, 70, ranked 189th with US$4.4bil (RM14.6bil).Hong Leong Group’s Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan and Public Bank’s Tan Sri Teh Hong Piow shared the 277th spot with their US$3.4bil (RM11.3bil).
YTL Group executive chairman Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay, 80, and family came in 421st with their US$2.3bil (RM7.6bil) family fortune while 58-year-old Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary of the Al-Bukhary Foundation was ranked 655th for his US$1.5bil (RM4.98bil).
Berjaya Group’s Tan Sri Vincent Tan was ranked 828th with US$1.2bil (RM3.98bil) while Tan Sri Tiong Hiew King of Rimbunan Hijau Group was ranked 937th with his US$1bil (RM3.3bil). According to the latest list, Malaysia had the most billionaires in South-East Asia, followed by Indonesia which had seven, Singapore (four), Thailand (three) and the Philippines with two.
The world’s top billionaire is Mexican tycoon Carlo Slim Helu and his family who edged out Microsoft founder Bill Gates with a net worth of US$53.5bil (RM177.6bil). Gates, who held the richest man in the world title for the past 14 years, came in second with US$53bil (RM176bil) while American Warren Buffett was third with US$47bil (RM156bil), the magazine said.
The youngest billionaire is Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, 25, who is ranked 212th with US$4bil (RM13.3bil). For the first time, China (including Hong Kong) had the most number of billionaires outside the United States with 89. However, India had 10 of the 25 spots for Asia’s richest, the magazine said.
“This year the world’s billionaires have an average net worth of $3.5bil (RM11.6bil), up $500mil (RM1.66bil) in 12 months. “The world has 1,011 10-figure titans, up from 793 a year ago but is still shy of the record 1,125 in 2008.” According to Forbes, there were 97 new billionaires, of which 62 were from Asia, a vast majority of whom made their own money. “Of the 97 new members, only 16% are from the United States. By contrast, Asia made big gains. The region added 104 moguls and now has just 14 fewer than Europe, thanks to several large public offerings and swelling stock markets,” the report stated. The report also points out that Americans only accounted for 40% of the world’s billionaires and that 13 members of last year’s list had died.