6 TAN SRI LAU CHO KUN @ LAU YU CHAK
Flagship: Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd
Net worth: RM16bil
LAU moves up one notch in the wealth count boosted by the share price jump of his company Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd.
The Sabah-based tycoon had also exercised over 200 million warrants of the company last year.
In 2016, shares of Hap Seng rose 37% to RM8.86 as the group launched new property projects and kept a lid on operating costs with weakening demand at the diversified group. Its market cap at year-end stood at RM22.01bil.
Starting out in timber, the group has businesses in property, palm oil, automotive and building materials.
Lau is the largest shareholder of Hap Seng with a 73.5% stake by virtue of the family’s stake in Gek Poh Group and Lei Shing Hong Investments.
Its property launches last year included the RM1bil gross development value (GDV) Aria Luxury Residences along Jalan Tun Razak in Kuala Lumpur, and the Balakong residential and commercial development with a GDV of RM900mil.
It also took advantage of the slowdown in the economy to hunt for new assets like tile manufacturer Malaysian Mosaics Sdn Bhd from Gek Poh for RM380mil.
It is looking to beef up its building material business, which is relatively small compared with property and plantation.
Hap Seng indirect listed entities include 53% controlled Hap Seng Plantations Bhd and PAOS Holdings Bhd – a soap manufacturer in which it is the second largest shareholder with a 25% stake.
Elsewhere, the group also has interests in Borneo Oil Corp Bhd, whose shares were up last year on the back of a rally in gold prices.
Lau is the nephew of the late Tan Sri Lau Gek Poh, the maverick businessman who founded the group.
Despite the family’s controlling stake, professional managers have been running the operations for many years.
Flagship: Hong Leong Group
Net worth: RM13.5bil
QUEK, 74, had a rather busy year.
Last April, the banking tycoon that owns the Hong Leong group of companies, disposed of his block of shares in Singapore-listed Ezion Holdings Ltd.
This marked the culmination of his exit from the oil and gas (O&G) industry, having earlier sold his holdings in Scomi Energy Bhd and TH Heavy Engineering Bhd.
Quek may have done well in the O&G scene but his fortunes are largely intact, having only lost one notch from 2015 to move to the seventh position last year.
The tycoon’s net worth is estimated at RM13.54bil.
One of Quek’s more notable moves last year was his decision to take a slice of the much-touted Eco World International Bhd (EWI), the international property vehicle of property Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin.
EWI counts GuocoLand Ltd as a 27% shareholder.
GoucoLand is part of the Hong Leong Group, which ultimately holds most of Quek’s empire of different businesses that sprawls through much of North and South-East Asia, and other parts of the world.
Liew has said that GuocoLand was the perfect partner for the soon-to-be listed EWI, in terms of its financial strength, history, legacy, and reputation.
It is the coming together of two brands, Eco World and GuocoLand.
Last year, the tycoon relinquished his position as chairman and stepped down from the board of one of his key companies, Guoco Group Ltd.
The move surprised the market considering that Quek is still active and has been helming the Hong Kong-listed Guoco since 1990.
What could be brewing is a restructuring of Quek’s sprawling empire housed under Guoco.
Recall that a few years ago he had failed to take Guoco private.
Market observers say that the two companies would need to undergo a restructuring at some point to meet Basel III requirements. HLFG also generates less trading interest compared with its banking arm.
Quek controls 74.4% stake in Guoco, which holds a 25.4% stake in HLFG. HLFG, in turn, has a direct 64.4% stake in HLB and 81.3% in Hong Leong Capital Bhd.
The other valuable asset under HLFG is the insurance business and this is up for sale.
Quek also controls Rank Group plc, a London-listed gaming outfit and has a strategic 14% in Bank of East Asia of Hong Kong.
8 TAN SRI YEOH TIONG LAY
Flagship: YTL Corp Bhd
Net worth: RM10bil
YTL Corp Bhd, a conglomerate with exposure from properties-to-utilities took private YTL e-Solutions Bhd last year.
To recap, YTL, which already owned 74% in the wireless broadband network operator, made an offer to privatise the company at 55 sen per share through a voluntary share exchange offer.
The group said the exercise was to create a more cohesive and efficient operating structure.
YTL e-Solutions was listed in 2002, but its trading activity remained tepid.
About five years ago, it privatised its cement arm in a move to consolidate its business structure to offer better value to shareholders. YTL Corp has two remaining subsidiaries listed on Bursa Malaysia. They are utility arm YTL Power International Bhd and property development unit YTL Land and Development Bhd.
YTL Power in turn wholly owns UK-based wastewater solutions provider Wessex Water and Singapore’s utility company PowerSeraya Ltd, plus has a 35% interest in Indonesia’s power station owner Java Power.
YTL Corp also has two real estate investment trusts – one listed in Singapore and the other in Malaysia.
The group derives most of its earnings from its utilities business in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia and the UK that collectively accounts for two-thirds of its revenue.
Last year, the cash-rich group made three new hospitality asset acquisitions in the UK for an undisclosed sum, growing its portfolio to 29 properties globally.
It was reported that the new acquisitions are The Glasshouse Hotel in Edinburgh, Monkey Island retreat in Berkshire, and The Academy Hotel in London, This week, YTL Hotels said it was buying Threadneedles Hotel, a five-star boutique hotel in London.
YTL Hotels also co-owns the Eastern & Oriental Express luxury train.
YTL Corp is embarking on a on a US$2.7bil (RM11.6bil) 1,320MW coal-fired power plant project in Cirebon, West Jawa – its second investment in Indonesia.
The Yeoh family, led by patriarch Tiong Lay, owns 52.7% stake in YTL Corp. Tiong Lay, who serves as group executive chairman handed over the reins to Tan Sri Francis Yeoh in 1978.
9 TAN SRI G. GNANALINGAM
Flagship: Westports Holdings Bhd
Net worth: RM6.7bil
GNANALINGAM has built Westports in Port Klang into a bustling port handling a total annual container handling capacity of 11 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs).
The port has sustained utilisation rates well above 75% for the past six years on organic trade volume growth and aggressive market share gains over neighbouring ports.
The commissioning of two new handling terminals should lift total capacity to 16 million TEUs, boosting capacity at a 6% compounded annual growth rate until 2020, according to reports.
The tycoon started the port from “a barren, swampy island” in 1994 and it is today one of the main hubs serving container traffic along the Straits of Malacca, which is the key shipping route from the west to the east. The company was listed on Bursa Malaysia in 2013.
Competitive rates and rising efficiencies are said to be among factors that have lured traffic to its port.
The port is said to hold the record for one of the world’s fastest turnaround with 734 moves per hour with a nine-crane deployment on a single vessel.
But there are challenges with the planned container shipping realignments approaching by April 1, that may see a significant shift in container volumes in the coming year.
A long-term risk comes from the planned development of the third Port Klang facility at Pulau Carey that may compete with Westports.
Shares of Wesports closed 4% higher to RM4.30 as of year-end, giving it a market capitalisation of RM14.66bil.
Based on this, his 45.5% stake is valued at RM6.67bil.
10 TAN SRI SYED MOKHTAR ALBUKHARY
Flagship: MMC Corp Bhd
Net Worth: RM5bil
SYED Mokhtar has been in recent years streamlining his portfolio of assets.
Last year MMC Corp Bhd, his main listed vehicle, took private NCB Holdings Bhd at RM4.40 cash per share, valuing the company at RM2.07bil. NCB wholly owns Northport (M) Bhd, a major gateway for the import and export of containers in Port Klang.
In 2015, MMC Corp listed Malakoff Corp Bhd– the country’s largest independent power producer. It has also closed its loss-making fabrication facility and divested the oil and gas division.
The tycoon is said to be working to further unlock value of his 51.8% controlled MMC Corp that has interest in ports and logistics, and energy and utilities, as well as construction and engineering.
The group owns almost most of the ports on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia, namely, Penang Port, Northport, Port of Tanjung Pelepas, Johor Port and the recently acquired Tanjung Bruas Port in Malacca from the Port Klang Authority.
However, the value of the port is not reflected in its share price. MMC’s market cap stood at RM7.1bil based on the RM2.33 share price at end December.
Industry observes say that MMC’s port business could be well valued at about RM10bil or more.
MMC also has a 30.9% stake in Gas Malaysia Bhd. In the construction side it is undertaking the Mass Rapid Transit project with Gamuda Bhd and the Rapid Cogeneration Plant project in Pengerang, Johor with Siemens. Its construction order book stands at about RM30bil.
Last year DRB-Hicom injected its logistics assets, namely KL Airport Services Sdn Bhd and a parcel of freehold industrial land in Shah Alam, Selangor into Pos Malaysia, raising its stake in the latter to the current 53.5% from 32.2% previously.
Pos Malaysia shares surged 44% to RM3.91 as at Dec 31 on better earnings outlook.
It also expects its courier business, Pos Laju, to be the main contributor of its revenue come FY18.