Record number of billionaires
FORBES magazine’s World’s Billionaires List 2021 released this week revealed a record number of mega wealthy.
The list recorded an unprecedented 2,755 billionaires, up 660 from a year ago, with total worth of a staggering US$13.1 trillion.
A total of 86% of billionaires are richer than they were a year ago, even as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to wreak economic havoc worldwide.
There are also a record high of 493 newcomers to the billionaires club, including 210 from China and Hong Kong and 98 from the US.
The richest newcomer, at US$38.2bil, is Miriam Adelson, who inherited her husband Sheldon Adelson’s casino empire following his death in January.
Four new Malaysians were included into the list this year - the Tan brothers of MR DIY Group (M) Bhd, Westports Holdings Bhd’s Tan Sri G Gnanalingam and Greatech Technology Bhd co-founder and CEO Tan Eng Kee.
Hong Leong Group’s Quek Leng Chan continued to top the list of Malaysian billionaires with an estimated net worth of US$9.7bil.
Globally, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos remained the richest person in the world with US$177bil net worth.
Vincent Tan steps back
TAN Sri Vincent Tan has relinquished his executive role in his flagship Berjaya Corp Bhd, as the founding family began handing over the day-to-day running of sprawling business empire to professional managers led by Abdul Jalil Abdul Rasheed.
Vincent Tan, 69, has remained as chairman of the group.
On Tuesday, Vincent Tan said Jalil, together with his son executive deputy chairman Datuk Seri Robin Tan will be handling the strategic and operational decision-making and planning the future business direction of the BCorp Group.
Once the plan has been put in place and the transformation process stabilised, Robin Tan too will step back into a non-executive role on the board.
Shares in BCorp had surged 150% since Jalil Rasheed, the former boss at Permodalan Nasional Bhd, was named the company’s CEO on March 16.
THE 5G rollout plan has been brought forward by a year, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) said in its National Digital infrastructure Plan (Jendela) Phase 1 quarterly progress update.
The quicker deployment was under the MyDigital blueprint announced by the government in February.
This year, planned projects will include fiberisation of 1.25 million premises, upgrading 12.500 towers from 2G/3G to 4G and addition of 193 new 4G sites.
For universal service provision (USP) projects, MCMC has called a tender for 1,661 sites, under Jendela 1, to be rolled out in 2021- 22.
The winners for the projects worth RM4.6bil will be announced by end of June, which may spur investors’ interest on telecommunication contractors.
Meanwhile, Celcom Axiata Bhd, a unit of Axiata Group Bhd said yesterday that it is in an advanced merger discussion with Digi.com Bhd to set up a new joint entity named Celcom Digi Bhd. Axiata, together with Malaysian institutional funds, will own over 51% of the merged company.
Circle Line back on track
THE Cabinet has given its go ahead the third MRT line in the Klang Valley, known as the Circle Line, to be revived.
Details on the project, which was earlier canned by the previous government, are still sketchy, but reports indicated that it will start in the second half of this year.
Analysts said the news is a positive progress as the third MRT line will integrate with the alignment of MRT 1 (Kajang Line) and MRT 2, also known as the Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya (SSP Line).The 17.5km SSP Line phase 1 is targeted for operational in August.
The first phase of the MRT 3 project is likely to involve advance tenders and potential award of the turnkey contractor role, as well as finalisation of overall project cost, formulation of project and funding structure and commencement of work package contract tenders.
The MRT 3 project was originally estimated to cost RM45bil.