Indonesia strong performance in economy and composite index had made the country tycoons wealthier this year. The biggest gainer in terms of value was the Hartono brothers while mining mogul Low Tuck Kwong enjoyed the biggest gain in percentage-wise.
Among 10 richest Indonesians who were wealthier than a year ago, Hartono brothers stayed on top for ten consecutive years. R. Budi and Michael Hartono, 78 and 79, possessed $35 billion net worth that increased 8.3% from $32.3 billion in the previous year. The upturn was supported by the strength of their interest in publicly listed banking firm Bank Central Asia, which accounted for 70% of their fortune. The bank has a valuation of $23.3 billion with $40.7 billion market share. The brothers are the major shareholders at the firm in which they have 54.94% ownership through Dwimuria Investama Andalan.
The highest upturns by percentage this year were dominated by tycoons from commodity industries. Mining magnate Low Tuck Kwong, 70, took the lead as his wealth soared 63.39% to $2.5 billion from $1.52 billion in the previous year. His rank leapt to 11th from 18th last year, thanks to higher revenues from his public listed coal firm Bayan Resources and 82% surge in its share price in the past year.
As of September this year, the company received revenue of $1.2 billion that grew significantly from $717.6 million year-on-year (yoy), supported by higher coal prices and better profitability after its Tabang concession in East Kalimantan starting to operate. Recently, the company had completed the buyback of its Australian-listed unit Kangaroo Resources Limited by buying 1.5 billion shares worth A$226.4 million that brought 100% ownership of the company. Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) stated that Kangaroo was de-listed from the bourse when trading was closed on December 13.
Palm oil tycoon Bachtiar Karim, 61, rank also bounced from 34th to 21st as his net worth grew 61% to $1.45 billion from $900 million in 2017, thanks to the significant rise in revenue of his Singapore-based palm oil firm Musim Mas.
Another businessman whose rank showed significant jump in the list was Irwan Hidayat, 71, now on the 41st position after sitting on the 47th rank last year. The owner of herbal medicine manufacturer Sido Muncul saw his fortune increased 50% to $750 million from $500 million a year ago.
On the flip side, half of those on the list were poorer than a year ago since rupiah depreciated 5% against US dollar and some stock prices were anemic. The biggest loser, percentage-wise, was chemical boss Soegiarto Adikoesoemo, 80, who dropped to the 39th position from 25th rank in the previous year. His net worth plunged 42.40% to $780 million from $1.35 billion due to the weak performance in his petroleum and chemicals trading firm AKR Corporindo.
Forbes calculated the tycoons’ fortunes based on stock prices and currency exchange rates as of November 30, 2018. The overall net worth of 50 people who made it to the list broke a record by climbing 2.3 per cent to $129 billion from $126 billion a year ago. The minimum net worth needed for the tycoons to join the list rose significantly to $600 million this year from $450 million in 2017, resulted to the highest cutoff since 2013. The complete 2018 Forbes Indonesia Rich List is available here as well as in the December editions of Forbes Asia and Forbes Indonesia.