Ambani family tops Forbes list of Asia's Richest Families

For the third time, India enjoys the biggest presence on the list, with 18 families among the region's top 50

Published: Nov 15, 2017

g_100971_bgdsc_4914copy_280x210.jpgThe Ambani family (Left to Right): Akash, Anant, Isha, Nita and Mukesh Ambani

India’s Ambani family has topped the Forbes list of Asia’s Richest Families for the first time with a net worth of $44.8 billion, up $19 billion from the previous year.

The collective wealth of Asia’s 50 richest families on the list is a record $699 billion, up 35 percent from last year, Forbes said in a statement on November 15, 2017.

Despite dropping to the No. 2 spot, Korea’s Lee family still saw their wealth soar by $11.2 billion to $40.8 billion this year, as shares of Samsung Electronics are up 75 percent over the past year.
 
Hong Kong’s Kwok family, Asia’s richest real estate family which controls Sun Hung Kai Properties, ranks No. 3 this year with a net wealth of $40.4 billion. Thailand’s Chearavanont family behind Charoen Pokphand Group, takes the fourth spot on the list, with a net worth of $36.6 billion.

“The cascading wealth of Asia’s very richest active tycoons is reshaping the ranks of even this legacy-driven list. Because of India’s size, the Ambanis can never be as dominant there as Samsung’s Lees have been in Korea. But with Mukesh’s next generation establishing a presence at the Reliance Jio telecom operation, this story could play out for years,” Tim Ferguson, Editor of Forbes Asia, said.

For the third time, India enjoys the biggest presence on the list, with 18 families. Hong Kong follows with nine.

The Ambani family is this year’s biggest gainer in dollar and percentage terms. Their net worth rose by $19 billion as shares in Mukesh Ambani’s conglomerate Reliance Industries soared in the past year due to better refining margins and the demand produced by its telecom arm, Reliance Jio. Since its launch in 2016, Jio has notched up close to 140 million subscribers. Mukesh Ambani’s younger brother Anil runs Reliance Communications. The Ambani family supersedes the Lees of the Samsung empire to claim the No. 1 spot.

The second richest family in India is the Premji family (Rank 11; $19.2 billion net worth), followed by the Mittal family (Rank 14; $17.2 billion); Mistry family (Rank 16; $$16.1 billion) and Birla family (Rank 19; $14.1 billion); to round up the top five richest Indian families on the list.

Among the newcomers from India on this year’s list include the Sehgals (No. 41, $6.15 billion) and the Wadias (No. 42, $6.14 billion).

A total of 43 clans from the 2016 list saw their wealth increase over the past one year, mainly due to an overall 25 percent jump in Asia’s stock markets for the year ended October 31, according to the MSCI AC Asia Index.

Asia’s 50 Richest Families list is a snapshot of wealth using stock prices and currency exchange rates from the close of markets on November 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.

Click here to view the full list of Asia’s Richest Families

(Reliance Industries is the owner of Network 18, publisher of Forbes India)

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