KUALA LUMPUR, April 17 — The top 15 families in Malaysia control assets worth 76 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), The Economist reported.

In Hong Kong, the top 15 families control assets worth 84 per cent of the GDP, compared to 48 per cent in Singapore and 47 per cent in the Philippines, according to the London-based current affaird magazine’s special report today on family companies.

“McKinsey, a consultancy, calculates that by 2025 an extra 4,000 founder- or family-owned companies could hit sales of US$1 billion (RM3.64 billion),” said The Economist in the report titled “Family companies: To have and to hold”.

“If this proves correct, family firms in emerging markets might then make up nearly 40 per cent of the world’s large companies, compared with 15 per cent in 2010,” the report added.

The Economist also reported that family firms remain dominant in Asia, described as the world’s most economically dynamic region, noting that founder-owned companies there will more likely turn into true family firms.


According to a 2013 article in Tharawat magazine, a Dubai-based international business publication on family-owned businesses, “Sugar King” Robert Kuok’s Kerry Group, Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay’s Genting Group and Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng’s IOI Group are among the family firms dominating Malaysia.

Kuok, who has businesses in sugar, real estate, palm oil and shipping, was listed as the richest person in Malaysia with a net worth of US$11.3 billion (RM41.14 billion), according to a Forbes magazine ranking this year.

Casino tycoon Lim and Lee, a palm oil plantation and property magnate, were ranked the fourth and sixth richest people in Malaysia respectively.

The third-richest person in Malaysia, Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan who co-founded Hong Leong Group Malaysia, also runs a family business in the finance, property and food sectors.

The seventh wealthiest person in Malaysia Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay’s YTL Corp, which has stakes in utilities, property and hotels, is also another family company, with Forbes saying that all of his seven children are involved in the business.