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Asia's Richest Families Worth Over $625 Billion

According to Bloomberg, Asia’s 20 wealthiest families are now worth over US$450 billion, or S$625 billion. The dynasties behind Reliance, Samsung and Suntory are among the region's wealthiest.

With 6 families on the list, Hong Kong make up 30% of Asia’s richest clans come from Hong Kong. India and Thailand each saw three families making the list, while South Korea also had two families on the list – namely the families that own global brands Samsung and Hyundai. 

The richest, however, are the Ambanis from India, with a US$50 billion (S$69.4 billion) fortune. Through their conglomerate Reliance Industries, the family owns the world’s largest oil refining complex. Their palatial home towers over Mumbai and is one of the world’s most expensive private residences. There are three families from India in total on Bloomberg’s list. 

South Korea saw two families making the list. The Lees who own the world’s largest maker of memory chips and smartphones, Samsung, is ranked fifth with US$28.5 billion, while the Chungs come in at 20 with US$13.5 billion from Hyundai – today a conglomerate that makes everything from cars to ships. 

The Kwek/Quek family of Hong Leong Group made the list at 11th. With conglomerates in both Singapore and Malaysia, the family’s wealth stands at US$18.4 billion.

Another familiar name belongs to the Ng family of Far East Organization, which has amassed a fortune of US$17.2 billion from property development in Singapore and Hong Kong. They are ranked 13th on Bloomberg’s list. 

From Japan, we have the Torii/Saji family and their US$14.8 billion wealth from Suntory. While renowned for their alcoholic beverages, Suntory is also known for their health foods today. 

Bloomberg's family ranking takes into account the amount of debt that the families have. Their categorisation of family wealth also excludes first-generation fortunes such as those of Alibaba's Mr Jack Ma, as well as those in the hands of a single heir. That means no families from mainland China made the list, reflecting the country's relatively recent surge in affluence.

Still, many of Asia's wealthiest clans have Chinese roots, from the Chearavanonts of Thailand to the Hartonos of Indonesia.

One trend that stood out is that most families on the list either derive the bulk of their fortunes from real estate and property development or have holdings worth billions of dollars. 

Here are the 20 richest families in Asia, according to Bloomberg.

1. AMBANI (US$50.4 BILLION)
Company: Reliance Industries
Location: India

2. KWOK (US$38 BILLION)
Company: Sun Hung Kai Properties
Location: Hong Kong

3. CHEARAVANONT (US$37.9 BILLION)
Company: Charoen Pokphand Group
Location: Thailand

4. HARTONO (US$32.5 BILLION)
Company: Djarum, Bank Central Asia
Location: Indonesia

5. LEE (US$28.5 BILLION)
Company: Samsung
Location: South Korea

6. YOOVIDHYA (US$24.5 BILLION)
Company: TCP Group
Location: Thailand

7. MISTRY (US$21.1 BILLION)
Company: Shapoorji Pallonji Group
Location: India

8. SY (US$20.9 BILLION)
Company: SM Investments
Location: The Philippines

9. CHIRATHIVAT (US$20.3 BILLION)
Company: Central Group
Location: Thailand

10. KADOORIE (US$18.5 BILLION)
Company: CLP Holdings
Location: Hong Kong

11. KWEK/QUEK (US$18.4 BILLION)
Company: Hong Leong Group
Location: Singapore/Malaysia

12. CHENG (US$18.2 BILLION)
Company: Chow Tai Fook
Location: Hong Kong

13. NG (US$17.2 BILLION)
Company: Far East Organization
Location: Singapore

14. PAO (US$16.7 BILLION)
Company: BW Group, Wheelock
Location: Hong Kong

15. TSAI (US$16.2 BILLION)
Company: Cathay Financial, Fubon Financial
Location: Taiwan

16. HINDUJA (US$16 BILLION)
Company: Hinduja Group
Location: India

17. HO (US$14.9 BILLION)
Company: SJM
Location: Hong Kong

18. TORII/SAJI (US$14.8 BILLION)
Company: Suntory
Location: Japan

19. LEE (US$14.7 BILLION)
Company: Lee Kum Kee
Location: Hong Kong

20. CHUNG (US$13.5 BILLION)
Company: Hyundai
Location: South Korea

Photo credit: REUTERS