India's Ambani Family Tops Forbes Asia's Richest List
Thailand’s Chearavanont family takes the fourth spot on the list, with a net worth of $36.6 billion. The family behind Charoen Pokphand Group, one of the world’s largest producers of animal feed and livestock, got a nearly $9 billion boost to its wealth partly due to a surge in the value of its holding in Chinese insurer Ping An.The group is led by Dhanin Chearavanont, who is Senior Chairman and shares the fortune with his three brothers and other relatives. After 48 years as Chairman and CEO, in January Dhanin named his eldest son Soopakij as CP’s Chairman and his youngest son, Suphachai as CEO. A total of 43 clans from the 2016 list saw their wealth increase over the past year mainly due to an overall 25% jump in Asia’s stock markets for the year ended October 31, according to the MSCI AC Asia Index. Asia’s wealthiest business dynasties on the list have remained relevant and successful by producing new generations that push the company in often surprising directions. Some young scions are even charting their own paths away from the family business. One example is 29-year old Howard Sy, a grandson of Henry Sy, the patriarch of the Philippines’ richest family (No. 9, $20.1 billion). A former investment analyst, Sy started a 24-hour self-storage company called StorageMart a year ago, anticipating that the country’s condominium boom would create a demand for storage space. His company now operates two facilities in Metro Manila. Other notable next generation scions include Korawad Chearavanont of Thailand’s Chearavanont family (No. 4, $36.6 billion) and founder of Eko Communications; Martin Hartono of Indonesia’s Hartono family (No. 5, $32 billion), who started internet investor Global Digital Prima Venture, and Sonia Cheng of Hong Kong’s Cheng family (No. 8, $22.5 billion), who acquired top-end Rosewood Hotels in 2011. For the third time, India enjoys the biggest presence on the list, with 18 families. Hong Kong follows with nine. Among the six clans making the list for the first time are the Chey family (No. 39, $6.3 billion) of South Korea’s SK Group. Shares of their SK Hynix, a supplier of computer-memory chips, doubled after it announced a $3.5 billion deal to acquire a stake in Toshiba Memory.
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