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The 40 richest people in Southeast Asia

Last updated on: September 09, 2005 18:59 IST

It's been a good year for Southeast Asia's 40 richest businesspeople. In Forbes Asia's second annual ranking, three-fourths saw their fortunes rise, thanks to improving markets and economies across the region.

Those who specialize in commodities such as oil, palm and timber strongly benefited from rising demand.

Malaysian Robert Kuok, who has invested more than $5 billion in China, is ranked number one again, worth $5.3 billion. Number two Ananda Krishnan, a fellow Malaysian, was the year's biggest gainer, up $1.6 billion.

Southeast Asia is home to 22 billionaires, up from 18 last year. Four new self-made tycoons appear among the 40 elite. The richest new entrant is Thai liquor baron Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, whose estimated $3 billion fortune has become more transparent lately as he tries to bring his company public.

THE TOP 5

1

Robert Kuok, Malaysia

2

Ananda Krishnan, Malaysia

3

Kwek Leng Beng, Singapore

4

Ng Teng Fong, Singapore

5

Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, Thailand

Two newcomers hail from Indonesia: Arifin Panigoro, who founded Medco Energi, one of the nation's largest energy groups, and Boenjamin Setiawan, who runs one of its biggest pharmaceutical companies. Singaporean Olivia Lum, age 45, debuts at number 39 as the list's youngest, and only female, member.

A net worth of $210 million was required to make the ranks. Three people from last year's list missed the cut, including Sim Wong Hoo, whose Creative Technology's iPod-type player lost ground to Apple's popular iPod. Also absent is Chaijudh Karnasuta, who died last November.

Unlike Forbes' Billionaires list, this regional ranking has been broadened to include a head of state, Thailand's Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, and family fortunes like the one belonging to Vanchai Chirathivat and his relatives.

For people with publicly traded fortunes, net worths were calculated using current share prices and exchange rates. For privately held fortunes we estimated what companies would be worth if they were public.

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Rank Name Net Worth Country Age Marital Status Offspring
1 Robert Kuok $5.3 billion Malaysia 82 Married 8 children
2 Ananda Krishnan $5.1 billion Malaysia 67 Married 3 children
3 Kwek Leng Beng $4 billion Singapore 64 Married 2 children
4 Ng Teng Fong $3.2 billion Singapore 77 Married 2 children
5 Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi $3 billion Thailand 60 Married 5 children
6 Lee Seng Wee $2.7 billion Singapore 74 -- --
7 Lim Goh Tong $2.6 billion Malaysia 87 Married 6 children
8 Quek Leng Chan $2.4 billion Malaysia 64 Married 3 children
8 Wee Cho Yaw $2.4 billion Singapore 76 Married 5 children
10 R. Budi Hartono $2.3 billion Indonesia 64 -- --
11 Chaleo Yoovidhya $2.2 billion Thailand 73 Married 5 children
12 Teh Hong Piow $2.1 billion Malaysia 75 Married --
13 Putera Sampoerna $2 billion Indonesia 56 Married --
13 Rachman Halim $2 billion Indonesia 58 Married --
15 Lucio Tan $1.9 billion Philippines 71 Married --
16 Henry Sy $1.6 billion Philippines 80 Married 6 children
17 Dhanin Chearavanont $1.4 billion Thailand 66 Married 5 children
18 Lee Shin Cheng $1.3 billion Malaysia 66 -- --
18 Thaksin Shinawatra $1.3 billion Thailand 56 Married 3 children
20 Jaime Zobel de Ayala $1.1 billion Philippines 71 Married 7 children
20 Tiong Hiew King $1.1 billion Malaysia 69 Married --
20 Francis Yeoh $1.1 billion Malaysia 51 Married --
23 Eduardo Cojuangco $750 million Philippines 70 Married 4 children
23 Liem Sioe Liong $750 million Indonesia 89 Married 3 children
25 Murli Kewalram Chanrai $720 million Singapore 82 Married
26 Eka Tjipta Widjaja $710 million Indonesia 82 Married 15 children
27 Syed Mokhtar Albukhary $680 million Malaysia 53 Married 4 children
28 Arifin Panigoro $610 million Indonesia 60 Married 2 children
29 Anant Asavabhokin $540 million Thailand 56 -- --
30 Vanchai Chirathivat $485 million Thailand 78 -- --
31 Boenjamin Setiawan $460 million Indonesia 73 -- --
32 Paulus Tumewu $445 million Indonesia 52 -- --
33 Chatri Sophonpanich $440 million Thailand 72 Married --
34 John Gokongwei Jr. $425 million Philippines 78 Married 6 children
35 George Ty $420 million Philippines 72 Married 5 children
36 Vichai Maleenont $380 million Thailand -- -- --
37 Oei Hong Leong $355 million Singapore -- Married
37 Tony Tan Caktiong $355 million Philippines 54 Married 3 children
39 Olivia Lum $240 million Singapore 45 Single --
40 Boonchai Bencharongkul $210 million Thailand 51 Married 3 children

Additional reporting by Tatiana Serafin and Cristina von Zeppelin.

Justin Doebele, Forbes