For the third time, India enjoys the biggest presence on Forbes list of Asia’s Richest Families, with 18 families in the top 50. Hong Kong follows with nine.
India’s Ambani family has topped the list for the first time with a net worth of USD44.8 billion, up USD19 billion from the previous year, Forbes reported. The collective wealth of Asia’s 50 richest families on the list is a record USD699 billion, up 35 per cent from last year, Forbes said in a statement yesterday.
The second richest family in India is the Premji family (Rank 11; USD19.2 billion net worth), followed by the Mittal family (Rank 14; USD17.2 billion); Mistry family (Rank 16; USD16.1 billion) and Birla family (Rank 19; USD14.1 billion); to round up the top five richest Indian families on the list.
Despite dropping to the No 2 spot, Korea’s Lee family still saw their wealth soar by USD11.2 billion to USD40.8 billion this year, as shares of Samsung Electronics are up 75 percent over the past year.
Hong Kong’s Kwok family, Asia’s richest real estate family which controls Sun Hung Kai Properties, ranks No. 3 this year with a net wealth of USD40.4 billion. Thailand’s Chearavanont family behind Charoen Pokphand Group, takes the fourth spot on the list, with a net worth of USD36.6 billion.
“The cascading wealth of Asia’s very richest active tycoons is reshaping the ranks of even this legacy-driven list. Because of India’s size, the Ambanis can never be as dominant there as Samsung’s Lees have been in Korea. But with Mukesh’s next generation establishing a presence at the Reliance Jio telecom operation, this story could play out for years,” Tim Ferguson, Editor of Forbes Asia, said.
The Ambani family is this year’s biggest gainer in dollar and percentage terms. Their net worth rose by USD19 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. Since its launch in 2016, Jio has notched up close to 140 million subscribers. Mukesh Ambani’s younger brother Anil runs Reliance Communications. The Ambani family supersedes the Lees of the Samsung empire to claim the No. 1 spot.
Among the newcomers from India on this year’s list include the Sehgals (No. 41, USD6.15 billion) and the Wadias (No. 42, USD6.14 billion).
A total of 43 clans from the 2016 list saw their wealth increase over the past one 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.
Asia’s 50 Richest Families list is a snapshot of wealth using stock prices and currency exchange rates from the close of markets on November 3, 2017. Private companies were valued based on similar companies that are publicly traded. To qualify, a family’s wealth must be rooted in Asia and participation in building that fortune has to extend at least three generations.