Two Indians among Malaysia’s 40 Richest

Washington, May 27 (IANS) Two persons of Indian origin figured among Forbes list of Malaysia’s 40 richest as the rebounding Malaysian economy expanded 10 percent in the first quarter of 2010, its highest growth rate in a decade.

Malaysia’s 40 wealthiest are worth a total of $51 billion, up from $36 billion a year ago and even higher than the $46 billion they were collectively worth in 2008, the US business magazine noted.

Indian origin Ananda Krishnan with a net worth of $8.1 billion retained his second place after Malaysian Chinese Robert Kuok. They are worth a combined $20.1 billion, or 40 percent of the top 40’s wealth. The country’s 10 billionaires are worth $30 billion, accounting for 59 percent of the total.

The 72-year-old former oil trader Krishnan’s most valuable asset is Maxis Communications, Malaysia’s largest cellphone service provider, which went public in November, raising $3.4 billion in Malaysia’s largest-ever IPO.

Krishnan’s telecom interests in Indonesia and India are still privately held and he plans to take his satellite TV broadcaster, Astro All Asia Networks, private.

Reportedly mulling listing of shipping arm Bumi Aramada, Krishnan sold interest in property firm Overseas Union Enterprise to partner, Indonesia’s Lippo Group, Forbes said.

Newcomers include another person of Indian origin self-made building contractor A.K. Nathan, 54, placed 24th with a net worth of $250 million.

He owns and runs Eversendai, a Kuala Lumpur contractor that fabricates, designs and erects the steel frames for buildings. Nathan grew up in Malaysia, aside from some years of schooling in India.

Among the five drop-offs is yet another person of Indian origin, Vinod Sekhar, who runs Green Rubber, which recycles used tires. The company had previously been valued based on what private investors had paid for shares in anticipation of a public offering; that IPO still hasn’t happened, Forbes said.

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