THE Kwek/Quek family from Singapore and Malaysia has emerged as the seventh richest in Asia with a net worth of US$23.3 billion (RM97.5 billion), according to this year’s 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 from 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 telecoms 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 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 telco operations, this story could play out for years,” he said in a statement today.
India’s Ambani family’s net worth rose by RM79.5 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 telecoms arm, Reliance Jio. – EPA pic, November 15, 2017.
Among the six clans making the list for the first time is the Chey family (No. 39, at US$6.3 billion) of South Korea’s SK Group.
Shares of 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 is worth a record US$699 billion, up 35% from last year.
A total of 43 clans from last year’s list saw their wealth increase over the past year mainly due to an overall 25% jump in Asia’s stock markets for the year ending 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 from a year ago.