Indonesia's Richest 40 Now Twice As Rich

Rebounding from the financial crisis, the country's 40 richest people have doubled their combined wealth in the past year to $42 billion, mainly due to rising demand and prices for commodities such as coal and palm oil, Forbes magazine reported on Thursday.

Tycoon and politician Aburizal Bakrie has returned to the elite club, joining the top 10 thanks to the success of his coal miner, PT Bumi Resources. Meanwhile, former Vice President Jusuf Kalla fell off the list.

In terms of total wealth, the 40 richest Indonesians have surpassed the previous record, set in 2007, by $2 billion, despite the financial crisis that swept the world last year, the magazine said on its Web site.

Of the 12 main Asia-Pacific economies surveyed, Forbes said only China's richest enjoyed a greater improvement in wealth over the past year.

"Global demand for Indonesia's natural resources fueled the rise of many fortunes on this list," the magazine said.

"More than one-third of the top 40 make the bulk of their money in coal, palm oil or oil and gas, including four of the five newcomers."

Nine tycoons at least tripled their wealth since last year, it said, and Indonesia now has 12 billionaires with a combined wealth of $28 billion, up from seven last year.

Brothers R Budi and Michael Hartono of the Djarum Group claimed the top spot on the list, with a combined worth of $7 billion. "We combined their fortunes this year to reflect the fact that this ranking, unlike Forbes' Billionaires list, includes a number of family fortunes," the magazine said.

"Still, had they not been combined, their individual net worths of $3.5 billion apiece would have earned them the top two slots."

Ranking second on the list was palm oil tycoon Martua Sitorus, the co-owner of PT Wilmar International, with an estimated $3 billion. Susilo Wonowidjojo came third, earning $2.6 billion from tobacco.

One of the new billionaires was coal magnate Low Tuck Kwong, whose PT Bayan Resources soared 474 percent on the stock exchange this year.

Aburizal, former coordinating minister for people's welfare and the new leader of the Golkar party, regained his billionaire status thanks to the dramatic rise from share market oblivion earlier this year of Bumi.

Last year, Bakrie, whose wealth was burned by the tanking share prices of his companies, did not even make the list's top 10.

Ciliandra Fangiono, 33, chief executive of palm oil company First Resources, was the richest newcomer to the list with an estimated $710 million.

Only three local tycoons are considered poorer than they were last year, due in part to better information, Forbes said.

It said the minimum wealth required to make the list was $240 million, up from last year's "relatively paltry" $55 million and double the $120 million required in 2007.

Five of last year's members did not meet that threshold, despite three getting richer during the year.

In addition to Kalla, they included Hadi Surya, whose PT Berlian Laju Tanker secured a 30-year contract to transport liquefied natural gas for British Petroleum.

The List: Indonesia's 40 Richest People

1. R. Budi & Michael Hartono $7 billion
2. Martua Sitorus $3 billion
3. Susilo Wonowidjojo $2.6 billion
4. Aburizal Bakrie $2.5 billion
5. Eka Tjipta Widjaja $2.4 billion
6. Peter Sondakh $2.1 billion
7. Putera Sampoerna $2 billion
8. Sukanto Tanoto $1.9 billion
9. Anthoni Salim $1.4 billion
10. Soegiharto Sosrodjojo $1.2 billion
11. Low Tuck Kwong $1.18 billion
12. Eddy William Katuari $1.1 billion
13. Chairul Tanjung $990 million
14. Garibaldi Thohir $930 million
15. Theodore Rachmat $900 million
16. Edwin Soeryadjaya $800 million
17. Trihatma Haliman $750 million
18. Ciliandra Fangiono $710 million
19. Arifin Panigoro $650 million
20. Murdaya Poo $600 million
21. Hashim Djojohadikusumo $500 million
22. Kusnan & Rusdi Kirana $480 million
23. Prajogo Pangestu $475 million
24. Harjo Sutanto $470 million
25. Mochtar Riady $440 million
26. Eka Tjandranegara $430 million
27. Ciputra $420 million
28. Hary Tanoesoedibjo $410 million
29. Sandiaga Uno $400 million
30. Boenjamin Setiawan $395 million
31. Alim Markus $350 million
32. Aksa Mahmud $330 million
33. Sutanto Djuhar $325 million
34. Kartini Muljadi $320 million
35. Soegiarto Adikoesoemo $300 million
36. George Santosa Tahija & Sjakon George Tahija $290 million
37. Paulus Tumewu $280 million
38. Husain Djojonegoro $260 million
39. Bachtiar Karim $250 million
40. Kris Wiluan $240 million

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