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19 January 2021 (closed)
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How did Indonesia's richest billionaires do during Indonesia's slowing economic growth in 2015 when gross domestic product (GDP) hit the five-year low of 4.79 percent (y/y)? Comparing the wealth of the top ten of richest Indonesians in April 2016 and December 2014 there were only three Indonesian billionaires that saw their net worth rising. Meanwhile, this article also takes a quick look into which Indonesian tycoons or well-known businessmen were listed in the Panama Papers, one of history's largest document leaks.
Based on the latest rich list, only three of Indonesia's top ten billionaires saw their net worth rise between December 2014 and April 2016. Firstly, media tycoon Chairul Tanjung (who briefly served as Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs towards the end of the Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono administration) saw the net worth of his business empire rise 11.6 percent to USD $4.8 billion. Secondly, net worth of Sri Prakash Lohia, founder and chairman of Indorama Corporation, grew 6.8 percent to USD $4.7 billion. Thirdly, and making the most impressive jump in the list, is Bachtiar Karim. Due to rising palm oil prices net worth of his Musim Mas Group (a leading palm oil player in Indonesia) surged 65 percent to USD $3.3 billion. The El Nino weather phenomenon has caused declining crude palm oil production in Southeast Asia, Indonesia's palm oil demand has been rising on the back of the government's biodiesel program, while Malaysia raised palm oil export duties. Together, it has led to a jump in palm oil futures.
A quick look at the table below, however, shows that the majority of Indonesian (top ten) billionaires experienced declining net worth amid the sluggish global and domestic economy.
Top Ten Richest Indonesians in April 2016:
|Name|| Net Worth¹
(in USD billion)
|Sources of Wealth
|Robert Budi Hartono &
|15.4||Tobacco, Banking||Bank Central Asia,
|Susilo Wonowidjojo||5.5||Tobacco||Gudang Garam|
|Anthoni Salim||5.4||Consumer, Food||Indofood Group|
|Eka Tjipta Widjaja||5.3||Palm Oil, Pulp & Paper||Sinar Mas Group|
|Chairul Tanjung||4.8||Media, Banking||Trans Corp, Bank Mega|
|Sri Prakash Lohia||4.7||Polyester||Indorama Ventures|
|Bachtiar Karim||3.3||Oleochemicals, Palm Oil||Musim Mas|
|Boenjamin Setiawan||3.0||Hospital||Mitra Keluarga Karyasehat|
|Mochtar Riady & family||2.2||Retail, Media, Property||Lippo Group|
|Tahir||1.9||Banking, Real Estate||Mayapada Group|
¹ a red color indicates wealth has declined since December 2014; a green color indicates wealth has grown since December 2014
Besides the palm oil business, consumer goods is also an industry that is expected to grow strongly in 2016 on the back of the expected accelerating Indonesian economy this year and people's subsequent strengthening purchasing power. Furthermore, the consumer goods industry will have more room to grow after Bank Indonesia cut its key interest rate (BI rate) by a total of 75 basis points in the first three months of 2016. As such, Anthoni Salim's Indofood Group (which includes Indofood Sukses Makmur and Indofood CBP Sukses Makmur) is expected to raise its value in the foreseeable future (despite seeing his net worth decline by 8.5 percent to USD $5.4 billion between December 2014 and April 2016). Moreover, this group also owns palm oil companies - Salim Ivomas Pratama and PP London Sumatra Indonesia - that are estimated to thrive on the recovering palm oil prices.
Indonesia's Richest & the Panama Papers
The Panama papers, a massive leak of 11.5 million documents revealing hidden offshore dealings in the assets of around 140 political figures as well as celebrities, sport stars and businessmen, lists a number of the Indonesian rich.
For example, Indonesian businessman Sandiaga Uno, member of Prabowo Subianto's Gerindra party, was listed in the Panama papers owning a number of offshore companies. Uno is also one of the candidates for Jakarta's 2017 gubernatorial election. However, it remains unclear whether these offshore companies are involved in illegal activities.
The Panama papers also mention Indonesians that already have been suspected of illegal activities: oil & gas businessman Muhammad Riza Chalid as well as Djoko Soegiarto Tjandra, a fugitive in the Bank Bali corruption case.
Read more: Indonesia and the Panama Papers: Names and Numbers (Updated)