Malaysia’s Richest 2019: Multiple Factors Erode Fortunes Of Nation’s Wealthiest

15-Mar-2019 Intellasia | Forbes | 6:00 AM Print This Post

From airlines to manufacturing and property to delivery services, business has not been good for many of Malaysia’s top tycoons as the country’s economic growth rate slowed. Our annual ranking of Malaysia’s 50 richest finds that 30 saw their wealth shrink, while only 11 enjoyed gains. Stocks were downthe benchmark KLSE index lost 8 percent in the past 12 monthsand the ringgit slipped 3 percent against the US dollar. A tumultuous year in politics added to the headwinds.

The biggest loser was No. 48 Wong Thean Soon, whose net worth plunged 63 percent. Shares of his company My E.G. Services, which provides online access to government services, got hit after last year’s election on the perception that it was linked too closely to the outgoing government. A big investor in the company, Norraesah Mohamadthe only woman on the list last yearfell off the ranking.

Syed Mokhtar AlBukhary maintained his ranking at No. 12, but his wealth shrank $200 million as shares of his infrastructure-linked firms fell amidst an ongoing review of Malaysia’s mega-infrastructure projects.

Another suffering a setback was Genting chair Lim Kok Thay. After spending $750 million, Genting has ended up in a legal battle with his two US partners, 20th Century Fox and Disney. Meanwhile, Lim’s $1.2 billion casino complex in New York is in the red. Lim, No. 7 on the list, is down $300 million.

No. 49 Abdul Kadier Sahib makes the list for the first time. He’s a director at Serba Dinamik Holdings, an oil-and-gas services supplier that went public in 2017 and has seen its stock soar. The founder, No. 40 Mohd Abdul Karim Bin Abdullah, debuted a year ago and got an 11 percent lift to his net worth this year. A third member of the Koon aluminum family, Koon Poh Weng, is another newcomer.

Tan Chin Nam, who co-founded property developer Goldis and was No. 45 last year, died in October at the age of 92. Another property mogul, Chong Chook Yew, died in September at 95. Until 2018 she had made the list every year since it started in 2006 and was usually the only woman.

The net worths are based on stock prices and exchange rates as of the close of markets on February 28.


Category: Malaysia

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