Credit by Tempo | Armand Hartono, Indonesia
[RANKED] 20 'Crazy Rich'-est Asian Families
ECONOMY Beyond

[RANKED] 20 'Crazy Rich'-est Asian Families

Bloomberg released its list of Asia’s top 20 wealthiest clans which now have a combined net worth of over $450 billion.

Leading the rankings is the Ambani family (net worth: $50.4 billion), which founded Reliance Industries in 1957 and is now the world’s largest oil refining complex. Ambani, 62, has big ambitions in new areas like e-commerce and is enlisting his children to help drive the modernization of his empire. The rise of the twins offers early signs of the efforts the titan is making to groom his heirs. 

As noted by Finews Asia, Hong Kong dominated the list, with six families present on the list from a city of just over seven million people. 

Mukesh Ambani, Chairman, Reliance Industries Ltd. with his wife Nita Ambani and son Akash Ambani arrives for the company's annual general meeting in Mumbai. Image: India Times
Mukesh Ambani, Chairman, Reliance Industries Ltd. with his wife Nita Ambani and son Akash Ambani arrives for the company's annual general meeting in Mumbai. Image: India Times

The Hong Kong families that made the top 20 list include the Kwok family (real estate, net worth: $38 billion), the Kadoorie family (diversified, net worth: 18.5 billion), the Cheng family (real estate and jewellery, net worth: $18.2 billion), the Pao family (shipping and real estate, net worth: $16.7 billion), the Ho family (gaming, net worth: $14.9 billion), the Lee family (food, net worth: $14.7 billion).

The richest Southeast Asian family on the list include Chearavanont family (diversified, net worth: $37.9 billion) and Hartono family (cigarette and bank; net worth: $32.5 billion). 

Chia Ek Chor (Chrearavanont) fled his typhoon-ravaged village in southern China and started a new life in Thailand, selling vegetable seeds with his brother in 1921. Almost a century later, Chia’s son Dhanin Chearavanont is senior chairman of Charoen Pokphand Group, a conglomerate with food, retail and telecom units with business spans in four generations.

Asia's 10 Richest Families. Source: Bloomberg, infographic by SEASIA.co
Asia's 10 Richest Families. Source: Bloomberg, infographic by SEASIA.co

According to Bloomberg, the region’s 20 wealthiest clans are now worth more than $450 billion combined, underscoring how the world’s economic growth engine is minting fortunes on an unprecedented scale. 

 In addition to assets, Bloomberg says its methodology also accounts for liabilities such as share-backed loans. Bloomberg’s categorization of family wealth excludes first-generation fortunes such as that of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Jack Ma, as well as those in the hands of a single heir. 

Other trends stand out. Real estate is one; most families on the list derive the bulk of their fortunes from property development or have holdings worth billions.

 

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