Indonesia loses some of its billionaires

Posted: 11 December 2008 1239 hrs 

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A collapsing global economy, dismal stock market, plunging commodity prices, 
and a weak rupiah which has lost nearly a quarter of its value in the past year 
means only one thing, the rich in Indonesia are not as rich as they once were. 

That's according to the latest Forbes list of Indonesia's 40 richest people 
which has found that the combined net worth of the wealthiest Indonesians has 
come down by nearly 50% in the last year. 

The latest Forbes Asia Indonesia Rich List has the wealth of the country's 
wealthiest recorded at US$21 billion, compared with $40 billion a year ago. 

There's some comfort though for Sukanto Tanoto who topped the inaugural Forbes 
Asia Indonesia Rich List in 2006. 

He is back on top of the 2008 list, albeit with a net worth of $2 billion, down 
over 57% since last year when he was worth $4.7 billion. 

Tanoto runs RGM International which owns pulp and papermaker April, and palm 
oil producer Asian Agri, both hit by falling commodity prices. 

The 2008 Forbes Asia Indonesia Rich List has placed in second and third places, 
the Hartono brothers, R. Budi and Michael,who own Djarum, the country's 
second-largest maker of clove cigarettes. 

Their net worths are $1.72 billion and $1.68 billion respectively, just over 
half of what they were each worth last year. 

The minimum net worth needed to make the Forbes list this year was $55 million, 
down from $120 million last year. 

This means that 14 on earlier Forbes Rich lists have dropped in their standing 
having lost more than half their net worth leaving Indonesia with now just 
seven billionaires compared with 11 last year. 

Among those losing their billionaire status are Bakrie and Eka Tjipta 
Widjaja(No. 8, $950 million),Anthoni Salim(No. 11, $690 million)and the 
Wonowidjojo family(No. 12, $640 million), formerly represented by the late 
Rachman Halim. 

And if there's any good news for Aburizal Bakrie it is that the 2007 Rich List 
no.1 is still on the list this year. 

Bakrie who made headlines last year as the first indigenous Indonesian to top 
the list is this year ranked ninth as his net worth has fallen by over $4.5 
billion as he worked out a deal to pay off $1.3 billion in debt. 

Bakrie's other 'claim to fame' on the 2008 Forbes list is that fact that his 
loss in net worth is the biggest on the list in dollar terms. 

Shares in Bakrie family's companies have also fallen by 90% as nervous bankers, 
worried about a rerun of Asia's 1997-98 financial crisis, threaten foreclosure 
on the billions they have risked on him. 

Also on the Forbes Indonesia Rich List is Chairul Tanjung who rose in the ranks 
to No. 13 with a net worth of $625 million, up from $450 million last year. 

Tanjung oversees Para Group which includes Bank Mega and the nation's third 
largest TV station, Trans TV. 

He is one of just two who reported higher net worths this year, although the 
gains had more to do with information gathering than appreciation of assets. 




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