Rising commodity prices and savvy dealmaking have made it a
huge year for Indonesia’s wealthiest. More than half are billionaires.
Despite recent volcanic activity,
Indonesia’s star is shining bright. Its stock index has outperformed those of
all other major Asian economies, up more than 50% in dollar terms so far this
year. Only Mongolia’s and Sri Lanka’s markets did better. No surprise then that
the country’s richest enjoyed big gains. Their total worth surged to $71
billion, up from $42 billion last year, hitting an all-time record.
In another first, more than half of the top 40 are billionaires, up from last
year’s dozen. The Hartono brothers retain the top spot for the second year in a
row with a net worth of $11 billion. They inherited clove cigarette maker Djarum
from their father, but these days get the bulk of their wealth from Bank Central
Asia, the country’s largest bank, which returned to the ranks of the Forbes Fab
50 this year.
Behind them is Susilo Wonowidjojo, the year’s biggest dollar gainer, worth $8
billion, up from $2.6 billion. His family still gets the bulk of their wealth
from Gudang Garam, the country’s largest clove cigarette maker. Sixteen of the
21 billionaires made their fortunes in coal or palm oil.
We were able to identify seven new entrants, worth a total of over $8
billion. Several, including Kiki Barki of coal miner Harum Energy, debut thanks
to recent initial public offerings, of which Indonesia was one of the most
active markets in Asia. He is one of five coal tycoons to make their first
appearance on this top 40 list.
The richest of all newcomers is Sri Prakash Lohia, a native Indian who is now
an Indonesian citizen and controls Indonesia’s largest polyester manufacturer,
Indorama Synthetics. His brother Ashoke, who is based in Thailand, is also a
billionaire, as is his brother-in-law Lakshmi Mittal, who is
Asia’s second-richest citizen but lives in London, where the Indonesian Lohia
too has a home.
It was also a notable year for deal-making for Indonesia’s richest. Chairul
Tanjung, for instance, bought a 40% stake in Carrefour’s Indonesian operations
for $300 million. Peter Sondakh’s Rajawali sold its stake in cement firm Semen
Gresik for $1.1 billion. The Bakrie family announced a $3 billion deal with
Europe’s Rothschild family, in which it traded shares in its coal outfit for a
stake in London-listed Vallar.
The minimum required to make the list was $455 million, up from $240 million
last year and a huge jump from 2008’s $55 million. Only four people on the list
are worth less than they were last year. Eight from 2009 fell out of the ranks,
making room for the newcomers as well as Sjamsul Nursalim, who returns to the
list after a one-year absence. Among the notable drop-offs are Soegiarto
Adikoesoemo of sorbitol maker AKR and Paulus Tumewu of retailer Ramayana, both
of whose fortunes rose, but not enough to keep pace.
Net worths were calculated using Nov. 15
stock prices and exchange rates. Privately held companies were valued by
comparing them to similar publicly traded companies. Unlike the Forbes
billionaires ranking, which focuses on individual wealth, the Indonesia list
reflects a number of family fortunes.
Reporting by Sonya Angraini, Justin Doebele, Ulisari Eslita, Pudji
Lestari, Suzanne Nam, Lan Anh Nguyen, Yessar Rosendar, Reva Sasistiya, Yus Husni
M. Thamrin, Alvi Tirtadji, Ardian Wibisono and Aditya Wikrama