KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 — The collective wealth of the 50 richest men in Malaysia rose by a mere 2 per cent to US$83.4 billion (RM398 billion) this year as a weak ringgit offset their local stock market fortunes, according to this year's list by business magazine Forbes.

Forbes Malaysia's 50 Richest 2024 released today showed that brothers Lee Yeow Chor and Yeow Seng from the IOI conglomerate went into the top five for the first time with a wealth of US$5.35 billion (RM25.5 billion).

Older brother Yeow Chor runs the family’s palm oil company IOI Corporation Bhd, while the younger Yeow Seng oversees IOI Properties Group Bhd.

Business mogul Tan Sri Robert Kuok, who turned 100 last October, continued to rank first with a net worth of US$11.5 billion (RM56 billion). Second on the list with US$8.8 billion (RM43 billion) was Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan, the executive chairman of the Hong Leong Group.


Other fortunes in the top five saw a reshuffle with the Teh siblings, who inherited a stake in Public Bank from their late father Tan Sri Teh Hong Piow, gaining slightly and moving up to third place with a net worth of US$5.4 billion (RM26 billion).

The change displaced aluminum magnate Tan Sri Koon Poh Keong who slid to fifth spot amid weaker prices and demand for the metal. His net worth fell to US$5.3 billion (RM25.5 billion) from US$5.8 billion (RM28 billion) last year.

Still, Forbes said the biggest gainers on this year’s list in dollar and percentage terms among the 22 fortunes that were up this year were Tan Sri Francis Yeoh and his siblings.


"They more than tripled their combined fortune to US$4.7 billion (RM22.6 billion) and jumped seven spots on the list to seventh," the magazine said.

"Shares of their flagship YTL, which partnered with US tech giant Nvidia to build AI infrastructure at its data centre park in Johor, have been on a tear."

Another notable gainer is property magnate Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah, the Sunway Group founder.

Sunway is now betting on healthcare for future growth, Forbes Malaysia said, noting that Cheah had more than doubled his wealth to US$2.4 billion (RM11.6 billion) to enter the top ten for the first time at eight spots.

Four newcomers joined the list this year: the Chen family who inherited the wealth of casino mogul Chen Lip Keong who passed away in December, and the Gnanalingam family which

consists of heirs of late ports magnate G. Gnanalingam who died last July.

According to Forbes, the minimum net worth to qualify for the Forbest 50 Richest list was US$320 million (RM1.5 billion).

The magazine said its list was compiled using shareholding and financial information obtained from the families and individuals, stock exchanges, annual reports, analysts, government agencies and other sources, while net worths were based on stock prices and exchange rates as of the close of markets on April 2 this year.

Last year, property consultancy Knight Frank’s latest report showed Malaysia was among the top 10 countries with the fastest-growing population of ultra-rich individuals — which is defined as having a minimum of US$30 million or RM139 million in net wealth.

While in 2017 there were already 491 ultra-high-worth individuals in Malaysia, this number grew to 659 in 2021 and then 721 people in 2022.