Forbes: Daughters of Malaysian billionaires among most powerful Asian businesswomen

Ruth Yeoh (second left) with Tan Sri (Dr) Francis Yeoh (second right) at a cheque presentation event to award WWF-Malaysia and Rare Conservation in support of their local conservation projects. — Pic courtesy of YTL Community
Ruth Yeoh (second left) with Tan Sri (Dr) Francis Yeoh (second right) at a cheque presentation event to award WWF-Malaysia and Rare Conservation in support of their local conservation projects. — Pic courtesy of YTL Community

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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26 — The daughters of two Malaysian billionaires were among the dozens listed by Forbes as the most powerful female entrepreneurs in Asia.

Tan Lei Cheng, daughter of  IGB Corporation Berhad’s major shareholder Datuk Tan Chin Nam, and Ruth Yeoh, daughter of YTL Group chief Tan Sri Datuk Francis Yeoh were named in “Asia’s Power Women 2015” and “Asia’s Power Businesswomen, 2015: 12 To Watch” respectively.

Both women, as did many others highlighted by Forbes, came from wealthy backgrounds and successful family businesses, but the two differed in their chosen careers.

Tan followed in her father’s footsteps and joined the family business by heading Goldis Bhd, which is valued at US$430 million and is the biggest shareholder in property group IGB.

Yeoh, on the other hand, took the environmentalist route by heading YTL Singapore and YTL-SV Carbon, Malaysia’s biggest Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) developer, with expertise in palm oil and renewable energy.

Yeoh has been in the US$6.3-billion family business since 2005 and is the face of the company’s green initiatives, championing its environmental agenda and raising awareness on climate change.

Women all across Asia were breaking glass ceilings, most notably Maggie Wu and Lucy Peng who are both listed as “Forbes’ Asia’s Power Women 2015” which, in an unprecedented move, were both leaders from Chinese-owned Alibaba.

Some of Forbes’ 12 businesswomen to watch include 33-year-old Caroline Link, oldest child of Thailand’s Harald Link, who now heads the family business which includes healthcare and real estate, as well as 42-year-old Jocelyn Kum who inherited her father Michael Kum’s US$800 million hotel business.

Forbes today also released its list of the richest men in Malaysia, which saw the fortunes of several tycoons dwindle as a result of plummeting oil prices worldwide.

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