Robert Kuok Retains Top Spot As Malaysia’s Richest Tycoon For 2024

The 2024 Forbes list of Malaysia’s richest individuals highlights notable shifts in fortunes and newcomers.
Robert Kuok Forbes 2024

Photo by Yulia | Pexels

Turning 100 last October, business titan Robert Kuok retains his top spot on the Forbes Richest list with a net worth of US$11.5 billion (approximately MYR47.45 billion). Kuok, one of the world’s oldest billionaires, established the Kuok Group 75 years ago in Johor Bahru, with a focus on trading sugar, rice, and wheat flour. The enterprise gradually evolved into a robust family business empire encompassing hospitality, agriculture, real estate, and freight and logistics.

Holding the second position with US$8.8 billion (approximately MYR36.23 billion) is Quek Leng Chan, Executive Chairman of Hong Leong Co. (Malaysia), despite a slight dip in his net worth from US$10.2 billion last year.

The top five saw a reshuffle with the Teh siblings, who inherited a stake in Public Bank from their late father Teh Hong Piow, gaining ground and moving up to third place with a net worth of US$5.4 billion (approximately equivalent to MYR22.25 billion). They displaced aluminium magnates Koon Poh Keong and siblings, who dropped to No. 5 due to weaker prices and demand for the metal, with their net worth falling to US$5.3 billion (approximately MYR21.82 billion) from US$5.8 billion in 2023.

Property gains drove another group of inheritors, brothers Lee Yeow Chor and Lee Yeow Seng, into the top five for the first time, securing the fourth spot with US$5.35 billion (approximately equivalent to MYR22.07 billion). The Lee brothers oversee IOI Corp. and IOI Properties.

The biggest gainers this year, both in dollar and percentage terms, are Francis Yeoh & siblings. They more than tripled their combined fortune to US$4.7 billion (approximately MYR19.39 billion) and jumped seven spots on the list to No. 7, as shares of their flagship YTL surged after partnering with U.S. tech giant Nvidia.

Sunway Group’s Jeffrey Cheah also doubled his wealth to US$2.4 billion (approximately MYR9.90 billion), securing a spot in the top ten for the first time at No. 8.

Among the four newcomers on this year’s list are heirs of the Chen family (No. 18, US$1.1 billion) inherited the wealth of casino mogul Chen Lip Keong, who passed away in December, and the Gnanalingam family (No. 12, US$1.6 billion) consists of heirs of the late ports magnate G. Gnanalingam.

Despite a 9% increase in Malaysia’s stock market, , the declining ringgit has affected the fortunes of Malaysia’s richest tycoons since the last evaluation. Consequently, their combined wealth on the 2024 Forbes list of Malaysia’s 50 Richest has seen a modest 2% rise to reach US$83.4 billion this year.

Discover the full list here.

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