KUALA LUMPUR: The Kwek/Quek family, which controls the Hong Leong Group, a conglomerate with interests ranging from finance to property, is at the seventh spot of the latest Forbes Asia's 50 Richest Families list.
According to Forbes on Wednesday, the family's net worth is US$23.3 billion (S$31.6 billion). It is also the only family with Malaysian roots to be on the top 50 list.
The minimum net wealth to qualify for the list was US$5 billion, up by US$1.6 billion from a year ago.
"More than 15 family members control Hong Leong Group, a conglomerate with interests ranging from finance to property.
"The family traces its fortune back to 1941, when Kwek Hong Png founded the company with 3 brothers. Hong Png's eldest son, Kwek Leng Beng, runs operations in Singapore.
"Grandson Sherman will take over as chief executive of the family's City Developments in January 2018. Leng Beng's cousin Quek Leng Chan runs the group's Malaysia dealings," it said.
The top 10 richest families in Asia are:
1) Ambani from India; US$44.8 billion;
2) Lee from South Korea; $40.8 billion;
3) Kwok from Hong Kong; $40.4 billion;
4) Chearavanont from Thailand; $36.6 billion;
5) Hartono from Indonesia; $32 billion;
6) Lee from Hong Kong; $29 billion;
7) Kwek/Quek from Singapore, Malaysia; $23.3 billion;
8) Cheng from Hong Kong; $22.5 billion;
9) Sy from the Philippines; $20.1 billion;
10) Chirathivat from Thailand; $19.3 billion
Forbes said its Asia's 50 Richest Families list is a snapshot of wealth using stock prices and currency exchange rates from the close of markets on Nov 3, 2017.
Private companies were valued based on similar companies that are publicly traded.
To qualify, a family's wealth must be rooted in Asia and participation in building that fortune has to extend at least three generations.
"Nearly half of the richest families in Asia are in China, yet none of 50 we ranked this year are based in the mainland, where conglomerates are young, run by first and second generations who were able to muster billions of dollars in wealth in an open economy," said Forbes.