PETALING JAYA: Forbes’ 2018 Billionaires List names Malaysian tycoon Robert Kuok as the 96th richest person in the world.
According to the list that was released today, Kuok’s fortune last year was rated at US$14.5 billion (RM56.5 billion). This makes Kuok the richest person in Malaysia and the 96th richest in the world.
Forbes estimates Kuok to be worth US$15.4 billion (RM60.1 billion) at current market value.
At age 94, Kuok is also the oldest person in the Top 100 in of the billionaires list.
The magnate owns Kuok Group, which has interests in hotels, real estate and commodities.
He founded internationally renowned Shangri-la Hotels in Singapore in 1971.
In this year’s list, Forbes pinned down a record 2,208 billionaires from 72 countries and territories.
Americans lead the way with a record 585 billionaires on the list, followed by mainland China with 373.
“Capitalism’s global conquest continues as entrepreneurs around the globe mint fortunes in everything from cryptocurrencies to telecom to bridal dresses,” Forbes wrote in the introduction to this year’s list.
“This elite group (of billionaires) is worth US$9.1 trillion, up 18 per cent since last year. Their average net worth is a record US$4.1 billion.”
“There are 259 newcomers including the first ever cryptocurrency billionaires; two Canadians whose toy company is behind Hatchimals and PAW Patrol; two Americans who founded online retailer Wayfair; and a 35-year-old heiress who runs In-N-Out Burger,” Forbes added.
Amazon chief executive officer and founder Jeff Bezos was named the richest person on the planet, with a net worth estimated to be US$112 billion (RM437 billion), resulting in him unseating Bill Gates, who dropped to No. 2.
Bezos is the first ever centi-billionaire, becoming the only person to appear in the Forbes ranks with a 12-figure fortune.
Meanwhile, Tencent Holdings chairman Ma Huateng is the 17th richest person in the world, with a US$45.3 billion (RM176.8 billion) net worth while Alibaba’s executive chairman Jack Ma is ranked at 20th with a US$39 billion (RM152.2 billion) net worth.