Robert Kuok retains top spot on Forbes Malaysia Rich List (Update)

  • Business
  • Thursday, 26 Feb 2015

KUALA LUMPUR: Robert Kuok retains the No. 1 spot on the Forbes Malaysia Rich List for the 10th straight year with a net worth of US$11.3bil, down US$200mil from a year ago as oil price crash and ringgit slump hit Malaysian tycoons.

In second spot is telecoms mogul, Ananda Krishnan at US$9.7bil (down US$1.6bil) while Quek Leng Chan is at third at US$5.6bil (down US$800mil).

Casino tycoon Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay of Genting Group is at fourth spot at US$5.5bil, down from US$6.5bil last year.

According to Forbes’ latest issue, the wealth of some on the list was affected as the local stock market lost steam and the oil price collapse sent the Malaysian ringgit down 10% against the dollar. 

“Tycoons with significant investments and ties to the oil sector suffered a decline in their net worth,” it said.

The top 10 richest in Malaysia are:

1) Robert Kuok; US$11.3bil;

2) Ananda Krishnan; US$9.7bil;

3) Quek Leng Chan; US$5.6bil;

4) Lim Kok Thay; US$5.5bil;

5) Teh Hong Piow; US$5.4bil;

6) Lee Shin Cheng; US$4.6bil;

7) Yeoh Tiong Lay; US$3bil;

8) Syed Mokhtar AlBukhary; US$2.9bil;

9) Goh Peng Ooi; US$1.55bil;

10) Lee Oi Hian & Lee Hau Hian; US$1.45bil;

Forbes said there are four new faces on this year’s list: real estate tycoon Khoo Cheng Hai (No. 45, US$285mil) who broke into the list as shares of his KSL Holdings doubled; packaging specialist Lim Teck Meng of Scientex (No. 46, US$280mil); oil-ship fabricator Ng Chin Heng (No. 47, US$275mil) of Coastal Contracts and real estate tycoon Kong Chong Soon (No. 50, US$240mil), co-founder of United Overseas Australia.

The minimum net worth to make the list this year is US$240mil, up from US$220mil.

Robert Kuok

Forbes said Kuok, whose business empire spans palm oil, sugar, shipping, real estate and hotels, saw his net worth decline by US$200m from a year ago to US$11.3bil.

His company raised US$300mil last year with the Singapore listing of his
PACC Offshore Services Holdings, Asia’s largest operator of vessels for offshore oil and gas exploration. 

The Kuok Group controls several listed companies in Hong Kong, Malaysia and

As for Ananda Krishnan, his wealth declined $1.6bil partly because of a slump in the shares of Bumi Armada, his offshore oilfield services provider, to US$9.7bil at No. 2. 

Bumi Armada reported Thursday net losses of RM52.56mil in the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2014, a stark contrast to the earnings of RM88.32mil a year ago. 

As for FY14, its earnings fell 49.2% to RM218.69mil from RM431.19mil in the previous corresponding period due to weaker contributions from the offshore support vessels (OSV), transport and installations.

Forbes said telecom assets make up more than half his wealth, led by his controlling stake in Malaysia’s Maxis.

As for Quek Leng Chan, his net worth declined US$800mil from a year ago to US$5.6bil but notched up a spot to No. 3 on the list. 

His privately held Hong Leong Co. holds stakes in sectors from food to finance, on top of investments in oil and gas which include stakes in Indonesia’s Samudra Energy, Malaysia’s Scomi Energy Services and Alam Maritim Resources and Singapore’s Ezion, a supplier of support vessels for oilfields.

Forbes said as China’s economic moderation affected the region’s casino gaming and entertainment sector. This saw Lim Kok Thay of Genting Group taking the No. 4 spot with a net worth of US$5.5bil, down from US$6.5bil last year.

Mokhzani Mahathir, an investor in oil and gas services provider, SapuraKencana Petroleum, saw his net worth fall to US$700mil. The main investors in SapuraKencana – brothers Shahril and Shahriman Shamsuddin – also saw their fortunes drop to US$860mil.

“It was not all bad news for Malaysia’s richest – the lower ringgit boosted exports. Lau Cho Kun (No. 15), the Sabah-based tycoon reached the billionaire ranks on more robust plantation and trading revenue with a net worth of US$1.08bil. He holds the largest stake in Hap Seng. 

Software tycoon Goh Peng Ooi (No. 9, US$1.55bil) saw his net worth increase by some US$450mil. His Silverlake Axis now provides financial software for 40% of Southeast Asia’s banks.

Forbes said this list was compiled using shareholding and financial information obtained from the families and individuals, stock exchanges, analysts, private databases, the Companies Commission of Malaysia and other sources. 

Net worth figures are based on stock prices and exchange rates as of the close of markets on Feb 13. Private companies are valued by using financial ratios and other comparisons with similar companies that are publicly traded.

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