It’s been a mixed year for Indonesia. On the surface, the world’s fourth most populous nation looks to be humming. Amid continued economic growth, the stock market index rose 4.4% in the past 12 months. But as our annual list of Indonesia’s 50 richest shows, there was a grab bag of winners and losers.
Six of the ten richest are wealthier than a year ago, including the Hartonobrothers at No. 1–their tenth year in that spot. They were buoyed by the strength of their Bank Central Asia, which accounts for 70% of their $35 billion fortune. Susilo Wonowidjojo climbs to the No. 2 spot–up one rank–thanks to a rise in shares of its kretek (cigarette) maker, Gudang Garam. The difference between the net worths of No. 1 and No. 2 is 280%, the biggest gap of any Forbes wealth list this year. Sri Prakash Lohia also inches up, to No. 4 this year, in large part due to a higher value for his stake in Bangkok-listed petrochemicals producer Indorama Ventures. The fortune of Bachtiar Karim (No. 21) and family rose 61% since last year due to a significant uptick in revenues of palm oil firm Musim Mas.
Overall, Indonesia’s tycoons are wealthier: The total net worth of the country’s 50 richest climbed to $129 billion, a record high and up from $126 billion a year ago. Impressively, the minimum net worth needed to make the list rose to $600 million–a significant $150 million jump since 2017 and the highest cutoff since 2013.
Four newcomers joined the ranks, most following upticks in shares. Danny Nugroho (No. 38) debuts after his stake in listed finance and insurance firm Capital Financial Indonesia nearly doubled in value in the past year. Sabana Prawirawidjaja (No. 47) was a founder of Ultrajaya Milk Industry, which has become one of the country’s largest makers of “shelf stable” dairy products. The July initial public offering of tourism and property developer Sinergi Megah Internusa helped put Benny Tjokrosaputro (No. 43) on the list for the first time.
Arifin Panigoro (No. 46) returns to the list after a one-year absence due to new information about his shareholding in oil and gas firm Medco Energi.
On the flip side, half of those on the list are poorer than a year ago. The rupiah is 5% weaker vs. the U.S. dollar. And some stock prices were anemic. The biggest loser in percentage terms was Soegiarto Adikoesoemo (No. 39), whose fortune dropped 42% on weakness of AKR Corporindo, his petroleum and chemicals trading firm.
Among the five who dropped off since last year’s list is Purnomo Prawiro. Shares of his family’s taxi firm, Blue Bird, fell more than 25% amid competition with ride-hailing firms like Grab.
The Forbes list of Indonesia’s 50 Richest was compiled using shareholding and financial information obtained from the families and individuals, stock exchanges, annual reports and analysts. The ranking lists both individual and family fortunes, including those shared among company founders and their immediate relatives. Private companies were valued based on similar companies that are publicly traded. Public fortunes were calculated based on stock prices and exchange rates as of November 30, 2018. Some people will become richer or poorer within weeks—even days—of publication.