Saturday, 4 February 2017

Top 10 Richest Men In Malaysia 2017

Saturday, 4 February 2017


Flagship: PPB Group Bhd/Kerry Group
Net worth: RM37bil

KUOK is often mistaken for a “Tan Sri” or “Tun”. But the 94-year-old tycoon, who was born in Johor but is based in Hong Kong, is neither.

Those close to him say that he politely declines any honorific titles because he wants to be known distinctly as an international businessman and not someone who is associated with any particular country or political leader.

Kuok’s flagship company in Malaysia is PPB Group that is into plantations and the processing and distribution of flour and bread. It also owns the chain of cinemas under Golden Screen Cinemas Sdn Bhd (GSC).

Outside of Malaysia, his companies come under the Kerry Group that is based in Hong Kong. The Kerry Group controls Shangri-La Asia Ltd that owns and operates the famous hotel chain. It also is a major shareholder in Kerry Properties and Kerry Logistics.

Through an intricate web of shareholdings, Kuok controls Wilmar International Ltd, the world’s most valuable listed plantation company that is based in Singapore and managed by his 67-year-old nephew, Kuok Khoon Hong.

With a market capitalisation of almost S$23bil as of the end of last year, Wilmar is more than a plantation player. It has its hands in the trading and production of a variety of edible commodities such as sugar and palm oil.

Kuok’s interest in Wilmar is held through PPB Group and Kerry Group of Hong Kong and collectively amounts to 28.3% of the company.

At one time, Kuok was said to be in control of 10% of the global sugar production, something that earned him the title “Sugar King”.

In Malaysia, Kuok disposed of his sugar business to the Federal Land Development Authority or Felda in 2009 and went on to control the raw sugar supply in Australia.

As in previous years, the Kuok group was quiet on the corporate front last year.

The most notable deal in recent times was the sale of the South China Morning Post to China’s e-commerce giant, Alibaba Group, for HK$2.06bil, a transaction announced in December 2015.

Last year, there were reports of the PPB Group putting up GSC for sale, with the valuation being bandied about at US$500mil.


Flagship: Genting Group
Net worth: RM22bil

THE 66-year-old head of the Genting group of companies has had a busy 2016 expanding the group’s operations in the leisure and gaming segments both locally and abroad.

In Malaysia, Genting continued with its upgrading works at the highland resort. There was progress to the 10,000-room hotel and further expansion of the theme park. This is part of a 10-year master plan called the Genting Integrated Tourism Plan (GITP) that will see the group spend some RM10bil to upgrade the resort.

Other key features of the GITP are the construction of a 20th Century Fox World theme park estimated to cost RM2bil, a shopping mall and a Genting Premium Outlet store.

Outside Malaysia, the Genting group, among others, expanded its gaming operations in the United States, made a bid for a licence in Japan and purchased a shipyard in Germany that is building its luxury cruise liners operating out of Hong Kong.

Last year, Empire Resorts, the Nasdaq-listed company that is 88.7%-owned by the Lim family through Kien Huat Realty Sdn Bhd, blossomed.

Empire Resorts, which owns and manages several hotels and casinos in the United States, received the licence to build a racing course and casino (racino) about 90km off New York.

In relation to its expansion, Empire Resorts undertook a fund-raising exercise that saw the Lim family increasing its stake from less than 50% to 88.7%. The fund-raising exercise saw the value of Empire Resorts jumping from US$1.172bil to US$4.3bil.

In Europe, the Lim family, through Genting Hong Kong, invested an additional 160 million euros (RM462mil) into its German shipyard MV Werften, which is building its line of luxury cruise ships. With the investment, Genting Hong Kong has invested a total of 260 million euros into the shipyard.

Genting Hong Kong took delivery of Genting Dream, its latest luxury cruise ship worth about US$1bil. The cruise ship is targeted for the Chinese cruise market.

Lim had told reporters in November last year that he felt the time was ripe to tap into the mainland Chinese market, and that the group was preparing a line of luxury cruise ships to cater to the expected demand.

The Genting group, which anchored its fortunes on a resort and casino built in Genting Highlands in the late 1960s, is now a global company with resort and casino operations in almost all the continents. Since opening its doors for business on May 8, 1971, the group is probably the only gaming company in Asia that can claim to be running its operations 24 hours a day.

The Lim family’s flagship company in Malaysia is Genting Group that controls Genting Malaysia Bhd and Genting Plantations Bhd. The Lim family has a direct 58.4% interest in Genting Hong Kong.


Flagship: Public Bank Bhd (PBB)
Net worth: RM20bil

THE 87-year-old banker is hardly seen in public these days. However, the returns that the bank gives its shareholders resonate well among the investing public.

Assuming someone had purchased a PBB share at the end of 2010, which was trading at RM13.02, and the person had subscribed for a one-for-10 rights issue at an outlay of RM14,400, the returns in share price appreciation alone after five years would have amounted to about 41.5%.

In addition, the shareholder would have received RM2,710 in dividends over the period.

Teh, who is the chairman of the bank, does not hide the fact that it thrives on its prudent style of lending and consistent returns to shareholders.

In his annual message to shareholders, he does not fail to reiterate how much they have gained by being his long-term shareholders.

For instance, in the 2015 annual report, Teh stated that if a shareholder had bought 1,000 PBB shares when the bank was listed in 1967 and subscribed for all the rights issues and not sold any of the shares, they would have held 148,938 shares by the end of 2015,

At today’s price of RM20 per share, it would be worth almost RM3mil while the total outlay would have been RM235,612, including the amount forked out for the subscription of rights.

In addition, the shareholder would have received dividends of RM1.08mil since 1967.

The healthy returns to shareholders are one reason why PBB has established itself as the most expensive financial institution in the region, trading at a price-to-book ratio of 2.3 times, way above the industry average of one times book value.

Its cost-to-income ratio is about 31%, much lower than the industry average that is closer to 48%, while the bad loans are about 0.6% of its total portfolio.

No longer handling the day-to-day operations, Teh, who owns 23.4% in PBB that would fetch a price tag of more than RM20bil, does not have a clear successor.

Nevertheless, those familiar with the bank say that the system in place in the bank is robust to ensure that the standards of prudence remain and see to it that the bank is able to generate hefty returns, even in bad times.

Flagship: Usaha Tegas Group
Net worth: RM20bil

ANANDA saw his estimated wealth being shaved off by 13% due to the decline in the value of all his three flagship listed companies by about almost RM3bil last year.

However, that would probably be the least of the worries for the 79-year-old, low-profile businessman. In the last few years, he has been dogged by a case in India where the authorities are seeking his assistance in relation to the takeover of Aircel Ltd by his privately-held Maxis Communications Bhd in 2006.

He has been implicated in the case together with his long-time point man Ralph Marshall and the Maran brothers – Dayanidhi Maran and Kalanithi Maran. The Maran brothers have been cleared of all charges of wrongdoing in relation to the transaction.

However, there is no word on the status of the tycoon so far.

Ananda, who made his fortune by spotting and capitalising on consumer trends way ahead of others, obviously did not see the fall in the price of oil that has contributed to the biggest drop in his net worth.

In December 2015, Bumi Armada Bhd, his flagship oil and gas (O&G) company, had a market capitalisation of RM6.4bil. Last December, it was down to RM3.5bil.

The market capitalisation of Ananda’s other listed companies, which are Maxis Bhd and Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd, was also down last year compared with 2015.

Like some of the top tycoons, Ananda does not seem to have a clear successor to manage his empire, that is mainly in the telecommunications, pay-TV and O&G industries.

None of his children are in the business and last year, Marshall left the group. However, Ananda has an able set of people who have executed the plans and vision of the billionaire.

This year, if Ananda manages to settle the case in India, it will pave the way for Aircel’s consolidation with other telcos in that country.

If that happens, it will be a major lift for the tycoon, who has not had much success outside the Malaysian shores in the telecommunications and pay-TV sectors.


Flagship: IOI Group
Net worth: RM19bil

THE man who made his fortune by whispering to the trees on the vast tracts of oil palm plantations, has made more corporate moves in the property market than the oil palm business.

Last year, the 78-year-old Lee saw the IOI group’s property arm – IOI Properties Group Bhd (IOI Prop) – undertake two major investments abroad.

The first was the acquisition of a 6.2-acre parcel in Xiamen, China, for 2.3 billion yuan (RM1.4bil) in August. The second was the acquisition of a 1.09ha plot of land in Singapore’s Marina Bay for S$2.59bil (RM7.8bil).

Both parcels were purchased through competitive tenders. However, IOI Prop’s purchase of the land in Singapore raised eyebrows because it set a new record.

IOI Prop paid an equivalent of S$1,689 per sq ft for the land in Marina Bay, topping the previous record of S$1,409 paid by a Qatar fund in 2007 for a parcel in the same location.

The question that has always been asked about IOI Prop’s ventures abroad is whether the group has been able to make money from its projects, as the land acquisitions were at the high-end of the band.

This is because the group’s first major property venture abroad – in Singapore in 2008 – has not had much of a success due to bad timing.

The global financial crisis came just after IOI Prop purchased a parcel of land for development in Sentosa Island.

The group said that it has been able to make money from its ventures in Singapore, and that the units built in the Sentosa Island project are now only available for rent.

Lee’s worth has increased mainly due to IOI Prop’s market capitalisation.

However, this year, considering that crude palm oil prices are on the rise, his value should come from his plantations business that is the mainstay of the group.

Flagship: Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd
Net worth: RM16bil

LAU moves up one notch in the wealth count boosted by the share price jump of his company Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd.

The Sabah-based tycoon had also exercised over 200 million warrants of the company last year.

In 2016, shares of Hap Seng rose 37% to RM8.86 as the group launched new property projects and kept a lid on operating costs with weakening demand at the diversified group. Its market cap at year-end stood at RM22.01bil.

Starting out in timber, the group has businesses in property, palm oil, automotive and building materials.

Lau is the largest shareholder of Hap Seng with a 73.5% stake by virtue of the family’s stake in Gek Poh Group and Lei Shing Hong Investments.

Its property launches last year included the RM1bil gross development value (GDV) Aria Luxury Residences along Jalan Tun Razak in Kuala Lumpur, and the Balakong residential and commercial development with a GDV of RM900mil.

It also took advantage of the slowdown in the economy to hunt for new assets like tile manufacturer Malaysian Mosaics Sdn Bhd from Gek Poh for RM380mil.

It is looking to beef up its building material business, which is relatively small compared with property and plantation.

Hap Seng indirect listed entities include 53% controlled Hap Seng Plantations Bhd and Paos Holdings Bhd – a soap manufacturer in which it is the second largest shareholder with a 25% stake.

Elsewhere, the group also has interests in Borneo Oil Corp Bhd, whose shares were up last year on the back of a rally in gold prices.

Lau is the nephew of the late Tan Sri Lau Gek Poh, the maverick businessman who founded the group.

Despite the family’s controlling stake, professional managers have been running the operations for many years.

Flagship: Hong Leong Group
Net worth: RM13.5bil

QUEK, 74, had a rather busy year.

Last April, the banking tycoon that owns the Hong Leong group of companies, disposed of his block of shares in Singapore-listed Ezion Holdings Ltd.

This marked the culmination of his exit from the oil and gas (O&G) industry, having earlier sold his holdings in Scomi Energy Bhd and TH Heavy Engineering Bhd.

Quek may have done well in the O&G scene but his fortunes are largely intact, having only lost one notch from 2015 to move to the seventh position last year.

The tycoon’s net worth is estimated at RM13.54bil.

One of Quek’s more notable moves last year was his decision to take a slice of the much-touted Eco World International Bhd (EWI), the international property vehicle of property Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin.

EWI counts GuocoLand Ltd as a 27% shareholder.

GoucoLand is part of the Hong Leong Group, which ultimately holds most of Quek’s empire of different businesses that sprawls through much of North and South-East Asia, and other parts of the world.

Liew has said that GuocoLand was the perfect partner for the soon-to-be listed EWI, in terms of its financial strength, history, legacy, and reputation.

It is the coming together of two brands, Eco World and GuocoLand.

Last year, the tycoon relinquished his position as chairman and stepped down from the board of one of his key companies, Guoco Group Ltd.

The move surprised the market considering that Quek is still active and has been helming the Hong Kong-listed Guoco since 1990.

What could be brewing is a restructuring of Quek’s sprawling empire housed under Guoco.

Recall that a few years ago he had failed to take Guoco private.

Locally, Guoco’s most valuable asset is Hong Leong Bank Bhd (HLB), which it owns through Malaysian banking arm Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd (HLFG).

Market observers say that the two companies would need to undergo a restructuring at some point to meet Basel III requirements. HLFG also generates less trading interest compared with its banking arm.

Quek controls 74.4% stake in Guoco, which holds a 25.4% stake in HLFG. HLFG, in turn, has a direct 64.4% stake in HLB and 81.3% in Hong Leong Capital Bhd.

The other valuable asset under HLFG is the insurance business and this is up for sale.

Quek also controls Rank Group plc, a London-listed gaming outfit and has a strategic 14% in Bank of East Asia of Hong Kong.


Flagship: YTL Corp Bhd
Net worth: RM10bil

YTL Corp Bhd, a conglomerate with exposure from properties-to-utilities took private YTL e-Solutions Bhd last year.

To recap, YTL, which already owned 74% in the wireless broadband network operator, made an offer to privatise the company at 55 sen per share through a voluntary share exchange offer.

The group said the exercise was to create a more cohesive and efficient operating structure.

YTL e-Solutions was listed in 2002, but its trading activity remained tepid.

About five years ago, it privatised its cement arm in a move to consolidate its business structure to offer better value to shareholders. YTL Corp has two remaining subsidiaries listed on Bursa Malaysia. They are utility arm YTL Power International Bhd and property development unit YTL Land and Development Bhd.

YTL Power in turn wholly owns UK-based wastewater solutions provider Wessex Water and Singapore’s utility company PowerSeraya Ltd, plus has a 35% interest in Indonesia’s power station owner Java Power.

YTL Corp also has two real estate investment trusts – one listed in Singapore and the other in Malaysia.

The group derives most of its earnings from its utilities business in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia and the UK that collectively accounts for two-thirds of its revenue.

Last year, the cash-rich group made three new hospitality asset acquisitions in the UK for an undisclosed sum, growing its portfolio to 29 properties globally.

It was reported that the new acquisitions are The Glasshouse Hotel in Edinburgh, Monkey Island retreat in Berkshire, and The Academy Hotel in London, This week, YTL Hotels said it was buying Threadneedles Hotel, a five-star boutique hotel in London.

YTL Hotels also co-owns the Eastern & Oriental Express luxury train.

YTL Corp is embarking on a on a US$2.7bil (RM11.6bil) 1,320MW coal-fired power plant project in Cirebon, West Jawa – its second investment in Indonesia.

The Yeoh family, led by patriarch Tiong Lay, owns 52.7% stake in YTL Corp. Tiong Lay, who serves as group executive chairman handed over the reins to Tan Sri Francis Yeoh in 1978.

Flagship: Westports Holdings Bhd
Net worth: RM6.7bil

GNANALINGAM has built Westports in Port Klang into a bustling port handling a total annual container handling capacity of 11 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs).

The port has sustained utilisation rates well above 75% for the past six years on organic trade volume growth and aggressive market share gains over neighbouring ports.

The commissioning of two new handling terminals should lift total capacity to 16 million TEUs, boosting capacity at a 6% compounded annual growth rate until 2020, according to reports.

The tycoon started the port from “a barren, swampy island” in 1994 and it is today one of the main hubs serving container traffic along the Straits of Malacca, which is the key shipping route from the west to the east. The company was listed on Bursa Malaysia in 2013.

Competitive rates and rising efficiencies are said to be among factors that have lured traffic to its port.

The port is said to hold the record for one of the world’s fastest turnaround with 734 moves per hour with a nine-crane deployment on a single vessel.

But there are challenges with the planned container shipping realignments approaching by April 1, that may see a significant shift in container volumes in the coming year.

A long-term risk comes from the planned development of the third Port Klang facility at Pulau Carey that may compete with Westports.

Shares of Wesports closed 4% higher to RM4.30 as of year-end, giving it a market capitalisation of RM14.66bil.

Based on this, his 45.5% stake is valued at RM6.67bil.

Flagship: MMC Corp Bhd
Net Worth: RM5bil

SYED Mokhtar has been in recent years streamlining his portfolio of assets.

Last year MMC Corp Bhd, his main listed vehicle, took private NCB Holdings Bhd at RM4.40 cash per share, valuing the company at RM2.07bil. NCB wholly owns Northport (M) Bhd, a major gateway for the import and export of containers in Port Klang.

In 2015, MMC Corp listed Malakoff Corp Bhd– the country’s largest independent power producer. It has also closed its loss-making fabrication facility and divested the oil and gas division.

The tycoon is said to be working to further unlock value of his 51.8% controlled MMC Corp that has interest in ports and logistics, and energy and utilities, as well as construction and engineering.

The group owns almost most of the ports on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia, namely, Penang Port, Northport, Port of Tanjung Pelepas, Johor Port and the recently acquired Tanjung Bruas Port in Malacca from the Port Klang Authority.

However, the value of the port is not reflected in its share price. MMC’s market cap stood at RM7.1bil based on the RM2.33 share price at end December.

Industry observes say that MMC’s port business could be well valued at about RM10bil or more.

MMC also has a 30.9% stake in Gas Malaysia Bhd. In the construction side it is undertaking the Mass Rapid Transit project with Gamuda Bhd and the Rapid Cogeneration Plant project in Pengerang, Johor with Siemens. Its construction order book stands at about RM30bil.

The tycoon’s other listed vehicle is DRB-Hicom Bhd, which in turn controls Pos Malaysia Bhd. The other assets under DRB-Hicom are Proton Holdings Bhd and Bank Muamalat (M) Bhd.

Last year DRB-Hicom injected its logistics assets, namely KL Airport Services Sdn Bhd and a parcel of freehold industrial land in Shah Alam, Selangor into Pos Malaysia, raising its stake in the latter to the current 53.5% from 32.2% previously.

Pos Malaysia shares surged 44% to RM3.91 as at Dec 31 on better earnings outlook.

It also expects its courier business, Pos Laju, to be the main contributor of its revenue come FY18.


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