Tamil of Sri Lankan origin is second richest man in Malaysia

May 25th, 2008 - 8:34 pm ICT by admin  

New York, May 25 (IANS) A Tamil of Sri Lankan origin is the second richest man in Malaysia, while a businessman of Indian origin occupies the 16th place in the list of 40 wealthiest in the Southeast Asian country published by the Forbes magazine. T. Ananda Krishnan, 70, whose family originates from Jaffna, runs the telecom firm Maxis, with a net worth of $7.2 billion. In the list, he is behind Robert Kuok, 84, who has diverse business interests and a fortune worth $10 billion.

Maxis became a private firm in a leveraged buyout in 2007 and has 74 percent stake in India’s telecom operator Aircel.

Krishnan is the wealthiest person with a Tamil background ahead of Shiv Nadar, who is the 10th richest man in India.

Vinod Sekhar, of Indian origin, is placed 16th in the Forbes’ list and has a net worth of $320 million. For its Malaysia list, Forbes set the bar at only $100 million, compared to the billionaires list the magazine is known for.

Noting that Sekhar, 40, runs Petra Group, named after his daughter, Forbes said the company is best known for its Green Rubber Global, which has a patented process to devulcanise used rubber, which makes it recyclable.

Another Tamil of Sri Lankan origin on the list, at No 26, is 63-year-old G. Gnanalingam, whose fortune is to the tune of $230 million. The former tobacco executive is executive chairman of Westports Malaysia, the nation’s largest privately owned port.

According to the magazine, the total net worth of the top 40 people in Malaysia is $46 billion, up $3 billion from last year.

Net worths for people with publicly traded fortunes were calculated with share prices and exchange rates from May 9. For privately held fortunes, the magazine said it used database company BRIS and other sources to estimate what companies and assets were worth if public.

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