Appeared in The Edge Malaysia today: The collective wealth of Malaysia’s Top 40 high net worth individuals is now US$62.1 billion (RM188.16 billion); $11 billion or 22% more than last year.

The latest figures appeared in this week’s edition of Forbes Asia, which claimed Malaysia’s 7.2% economic growth in 2010 was the main reason for the jump. Top of the list, a position he’s occupied since Forbes started the list in 2006, is Robert Kuok Hock Nien (87), who added half a billion dollars to his wealth to reach $12.5 billion — mainly thanks to his share in Wilmar International, the world’s largest listed palm oil company.

Second up with a slightly larger leap is Ananda Krishnan (72), owner of mobile phone giant Maxis Communications Bhd and other newly public companies such as Astro All Asia Networks plc, Tanjong plc, and satellite operator Measat Global Bhd. His wealth went up from $8.1 billion to $9.5 billion. The honor for largest gainer in dollar terms goes to #3 placed Lee Kim Hua, one of only three women on the list and widow of casino owner Lim Goh Tong, who’s wealth went up by $2.7 billion to $6.6 billion on the back of Genting, which recently began operations on Singapore’s Sentosa Island.

Other notable mentions are: IOI Group’s Lee Shin Cheng, also in the palm oil business, at #4 with $5 billion and AirAsia’s Tony Fernandes taking 20th place with $470 million (up from $330 million last year).

Three on the list actually saw their wealth decrease from 2010, such as 9th placed entrepreneur and owner of Berjaya Group Vincent Tan Chee Yioun (from $1.6 billion to $1.25 billion). 10th placed Tiong Hiew King’s wealth went neither up nor down, staying at $1.2 billion.

full article & list: The Edge Malaysia