KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 15 — The Kwek/Quek family from Singapore and Malaysia emerged as the seventh richest in Asia with a net worth of US$23.3 billion (RM97.6 billion), according to the 2017 Forbes list of Asia’s Richest Families.
India’s Ambani family topped the list for the first time with a net worth of US$44.8 billion followed by South Korea’s Lee family whose wealth soared US$11.2 billion to US$40.8 billion this year.
The Ambani family’s net worth rose by US$19 billion as shares in Mukesh Ambani’s conglomerate, Reliance Industries, soared in the past year due to better refining margins and the demand produced by its telecom arm, Reliance Jio.
Overall, India enjoyed the biggest presence on the list for the first time with 18 families, followed by Hong Kong with nine.
Forbes Asia Editor Tim Ferguson said the cascading wealth of Asia’s very richest active tycoons was reshaping the ranks of even the legacy-driven list.
“Because of India’s size, the Ambanis’ can never be as dominant there as Samsung’s Lees have been in South Korea. But, with Mukesh’s next generation establishing a presence in the Reliance Jio telecom operations, this story could play out for years,” he said in a statement today.
Among the six clans making the list for the first time are the Chey family (No 39, US$6.3 billion) of South Korea’s SK Group. Shares of their SK Hynix, a supplier of computer-memory chips, doubled after it announced a US$3.5 billion deal to acquire a stake in Toshiba Memory.
The collective wealth of Asia’s 50 richest families on the list are worth a record US$699 billion, up 35 per cent, from last year.
A total of 43 clans from the 2016 list saw their wealth increase over the past year mainly due to an overall 25 per cent jump in Asia’s stock markets for the year ended October 31, according to the MSCI AC Asia Index.
The minimum net wealth to qualify for the list is US$5 billion, up by US$1.6 billion, a year ago. — Bernama