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Crazy Rich Asians: Bloomberg Lists 20 Richest Of The Rich Dynasties In Asia

The Ambanis of India are Asia’s richest family, with a $50 billion fortune, while the region’s 20 wealthiest clans are now worth more than $450 billion combined, said Bloomberg in a report.

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. That means no families from mainland China make the list, reflecting the country’s relatively recent surge in affluence.

Following are the details of these richest of the rich:

  1. Ambani (3 Generations)

India; Reliance Industries; $50.4 billion

Dhirubhai Ambani returns to India from Yemen in 1957

  1. Kwok (3 Generations)

Hong Kong; Sun Hung Kai Properties; $38 billion

Kwok Tak-Seng, a grocery wholesaler, incorporates Sun Hung Kai Properties in 1972

  1. Chearavanont (4 Generations)

Thailand; Charoen Pokphand Group; $37.9 billion

Chia Ek Chor and brother set up a seed shop in Bangkok.in 1921

  1. Hartono (3 Generations)

Indonesia; Djarum, Bank Central Asia; $32.5 billion

Oei Wie Gwan buys the cigarette brand that becomes Djarum in 1950

  1. Lee (3 Generations)

South Korea; Samsung; $28.5 billion

Lee Byung-chull starts a company exporting fruit, vegetables and fish in 1938

  1. Yoovidhya (2 Generations)

Thailand; TCP Group; $24.5 billion

Chaleo Yoovidhya founds TC Pharmaceutical in 1956

  1. Mistry (5 Generations)

India; Shapoorji Pallonji Group; $21.5 billion

Mistry family business is founded in India in 1865

  1. Sy (3 Generations)

Philippines; SM Investment; $20.9 billion

Henry Sy opens a shoe store called Shoemart in Manila in 1958

  1. Chirathivat (4 Generations)

Thailand; Central Group; $20.3 billion

Central Group begins as a small family shop in Bangkok in 1947

  1. Kadoorie (4 Generations)

Hong Kong; CLP Holdings; $18.5 billion

The Kadoorie family – of the Baghdad Jewish diaspora – first arrives in Hong Kong in 1880

  1. Kwek/Quek (3 Generations)

Singapore/Malaysia; Hong Leon Group; $18.4 billion

Kwek Hong Png sets up Hong Leong in Singapore in 1941

  1. Cheng (4 Generations)

Hong Kong; Chow Tai Fook; $18.2 billion

Chow Chi Yuen establishes Chow Tai Fook in 1929

  1. Ng (3 Generations)

Singapore; Far East Organization; $17.2 billion

Ng Teng Fong moves to Singapore from China and establishes Far East Organization in 1960

  1. Pao (3 Generations)

Hong Kong; BW Group; Wheelock; $16.7 billion

Yue-Kong Pao buys his first vessel in 1955

  1. Tsai (3 Generations)

Taiwan; Cathay Financial, Fubon Financial; $16.2 billion

Cathay Life Insurance is founded by the Tsai brothers 1962

  1. Hinduja (4 Generations)

India; Hinduja Group; $16 billion

Parmanand Hinduja starts the family business in 1914

  1. Ho (2 Generations)

Hong Kong; SJM; $14.9 billion

Sociedade de Turismo e Diversoes de Macau is founded by Stanley Ho and his business partners in 1962

  1. Torii Saji (4 Generations)

Japan; Suntory; $14.8 billion

Shinjiro Torii founds Torii Shoten, Suntory’s predecessor, in 1899

  1. Lee (5 Generations)

Hong Kong; Lee Kum Kee; $14.7 billion

Lee Kum Sheung invents oyster sauce and establishes Lee Kum Kee 1888

  1. Chung (3 Generations)

Korea; Hyundai; $13.5 billion

Chung Ju-yung starts a business named Hyundai in 1946

President Xi Jinping’s campaign against extravagance has brought down some of the super-rich who were rising a few years ago. Still, many of Asia’s wealthiest clans have Chinese roots, from the Chearavanonts of Thailand to the Hartonos of Indonesia.

According to the report, even as Asia’s dynasties prepare to transfer wealth to the next generation, popular concerns over income inequality in the region are more subdued than in the West, where Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the 21st Century” and US Senator Elizabeth Warren’s proposed wealth tax have focused attention on the issue.

Hong Kong, India and Singapore have all abolished taxes on wealth or inheritance in recent years. “Asia’s lack of a debate on taxing wealth is as strange as it is harmful,” said Donald Low, a professor at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, one of the region’s rare wealth-tax advocates.

Of course, the mood could change if the budding backlash against Hong Kong’s tycoon-dominated economy intensifies. But for now, Asia’s richest families are riding high.


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