Making their fortunes by dominating one industry or another, these are Asia's 25 richest people as calculated by Forbes magazine in March 2013. Each are worth several billion dollars, all are based in one country in Asia and everyone comes in among the richest people in the world on the Forbes 400 list.
Lakshmi Mittal comes in atop the list of Asia's richest people with an estimated net worth of a whopping $31.1 billion dollars. Based in India, Mittal made his fortune in the steel business and ranks as the sixth-richest person in the world.
Just one other Asian billionaire, Mukesh Ambani of India, ranks among the top 10 richest in the world. Like many businessmen in the region, Ambani, who is worth $27 billion, is a leader in petrochemicals, oil and gas.
Like others who are among the richest people in the world, coming in as #25 on this list does not mean you are poor, simply not stacked with the tens of billions as others on the continent. Pretty sure many of us would be happy to come in last here, as 25th place is still a cool $10 billion bucks.
1. Li Ka-shing ($ 31 billion)
Sir Ka-shing Li, GBM, KBE, JP is a Hong Kong business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, as of 16 April 2014 he is the richest person in Asia, with a net worth of $31.9 billion. He is the Chairman of the Board of Hutchison Whampoa Limited and Cheung Kong Holdings as of 2008; through them, he is the world's largest operator of container terminals and the world's largest health and beauty retailer.
2. Vladimir Lisin ($ 24 billion)
Vladimir Lisin is a Russian steel tycoon. He is chairman and the majority shareholder of Novolipetsk or NLMK, one of the four largest steel companies in Russia. He is a leading world authority on metallurgical processes; holding various patents on metallurgical processes and having published over 100 articles on metallurgy and economics which include 15 monographs. He is said to be one of the richest men in Russia and 72nd richest in the world.
3. Mukesh Ambani ($ 21.57 billion)
Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani is an Indian business magnate who is the chairman, managing director and largest shareholder of Reliance Industries Limited, a Fortune Global 500 company and India's second most valuable company by market value. He holds a 44.7% stake in the company. He is the elder son of the late Dhirubhai Ambani and the brother of Anil Ambani. RIL deals mainly in refining, petrochemicals, and in the oil and gas sectors.
4. Lee Shau-kee ($ 20.3 billion)
Lee Shau-kee GBM is a Hong Kong based real estate tycoon and majority owner of Henderson Land Development, a property conglomerate with interests in properties, hotels, restaurants and internet services. As of October 2012 according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index Lee is listed as the 19th richest person in the world. His personal wealth is estimated to be $19 billion and ranked as the second wealthiest man in Hong Kong after Li Ka Shing.
5. Kwok Family ($ 20 billion)
Family behind one of Hong Kong's most storied real estate firms has benefited from rebound in property prices. Eldest brother Walter, who stepped down from 18-year chairmanship of Sun Hung Kai Properties in May 2008 after disputing with his 2 younger siblings, Raymond and Thomas, dropped his lawsuit alleging improper dismissal; he is now a nonexecutive director. Mother Kwong Siu-hing, 80, took over as chairman. Firm is finishing construction of Hong Kong's tallest building, the International Commerce Center. Family also owns interests in telecom SmarTone-Vodafone and city bus operator KMB. Deeply religious brothers, opened replica of Noah's Ark in Hong Kong in May 2009 as tourist attraction.
6. Alisher Usmanov ($ 17.6 billion)
Alisher Burkhanovich Usmanov is an Uzbek-born Russian business magnate. According to January 2015 Forbes website data, the oligarch Usmanov is Russia's richest man, with a fortune estimated at $14.7 billion, and the world's 58th richest person. According to the December 2013 Bloomberg Billionaires Index, he has an estimated net worth of $19.6 billion, making him the 37th richest person in the world. In May 2014, The Sunday Times listed him as the second richest person in the UK with an estimated fortune of £10.65bn.
7. Azim Premji ($ 16.8 billion)
Azim Hashim Premji is an Indian business tycoon and philanthropist who is the chairman of Wipro Limited, informally known as the Czar of the Indian IT Industry and also guiding Wipro through four decades of diversification and growth to emerge as one of the Indian leaders in the software industry. According to Forbes, he was the richest Indian during 1999-2005 and is currently the fourth wealthiest Indian, and the 61st richest in the world.
8. Mikhail Fridman ($16.5 billion)
Mikhail Maratovich Fridman is a Russian businessman of Ukrainian Jewish descent. Fridman graduated from Moscow Institute of Steel and Alloys in 1986. In the 1980s, as a student, Fridman scalped theater tickets on a large scale. In 1988 Fridman started his career in trading and financial services before founding Alfa Group Consortium in 1989. Fridman sits as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Alfa Group Consortium, which is now one of Russia's largest privately largest privately-held investment groups.
9. Lakshmi Mittal ($ 16.5 billion)
Lakshmi Niwas Mittal; is an Indian steel magnate, based in the United Kingdom. He is the chairman and CEO of ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaking company. Mittal owns 38% of ArcelorMittal and holds a 34% stake in Queens Park Rangers F.C.. In 2007, Mittal was considered to be the richest Hindu and Asian person in Europe. Despite being the eighth wealthiest man in Britain in 2002, he does not hold British citizenship. He was ranked the sixth richest person in the world by Forbes in 2011.
10. Cheng Yu-tung ($ 16 billion)
Cheng Yu-tung GBM is a Hong Kong billionaire with extensive business dealings and real estate interests in both Hong Kong and Macau. He owns Chow Tai Fook Enterprises, a conglomerate which operates the Sheraton Marina hotel and controls the publicly listed New World group. Cheng’s wealth originated from his jewellery business, Chow Tai Fook.
11. Viktor Vekselberg ( $ 15.1 billion)
Viktor Felixovich Vekselberg is a Ukrainian-born Russian businessman. He is the owner and president of Renova Group, a large Russian conglomerate. According to Forbes, in 2014 his fortune is estimated at $17.2 billion, making him the third richest person in Russia. According to different estimates, Vekselberg is either the wealthiest Russian, or the third wealthiest. He is close to the Kremlin, overseeing projects to modernize the Russian economy.
12. Vagit Alekperov ($ 14.8 billion)
Vagit Alekperov was born in 1950 in Baku, Azerbaijan, one of the earliest centers of the international petroleum industry. His father worked in the oil fields all his life and inspired Alekperov to follow in his footsteps. He was 18 when he landed his first job in the industry. Alekperov attended Azerbaijan Institute of Oil and Chemistry, then trained as an engineer to work in the nearby Caspian Sea oil fields. In 1979, he was sent to western Siberia, where he earned his reputation as an industry expert.
13. Dhanin Chearavanont ($ 14.3 billion)
Dhanin Chearavanont is a Thai businessman and investor based in Bangkok. As of Forbes 2013 List of World Billionaires, Chearavanont is placed 58th with a net worth of $14.3 billion, making him the richest person in Thailand and in Southeast Asia. Dhanin and family own the Charoen Pokhphand Group (C.P. Group). C.P. Group's holdings generated cumulative revenues of approximately $46.5 billion and holds about $50.1 billion in assets. It is the largest shareholder in Ping An Insurance, a Chinese life insurance company with $461 billion in assets (2012). The C.P. Group is also the second largest shareholder in Itochu Corporation of Japan. Itochu reported revenues of over $141 billion in FY2013.
14. Vladimir Potanin (14.3 billion)
Vladimir Olegovich Potanin is a Russian billionaire entrepreneur and oligarch. He acquired his wealth notably through the controversial loans-for-shares program in Russia. He is one of the wealthiest men in Russia, with an estimated net worth of $12.7 billion. His long-term business partner was Mikhail Prokhorov until they decided to split in 2008.
15. Tadashi Yanai ($ 13.3 billion)
Tadashi Yanai is founder and president of Fast Retailing, of which Uniqlo is a subsidiary. He is routinely ranked as one of the richest men in Japan, and in January 2014 was ranked 35th richest person in the world according to Bloomberg, making him the richest man in Japan with an estimated net worth of 19.9 billion USD in 2009 and $17.6 billion in 2014.
16. Henry Sy ($ 13.2 billion)
Henry Sy, Sr. is a Chinese Filipino businessman with interests in retailing, real estate, hospitality, banking, mining, education including healthcare services. He pioneered the establishment of SM Malls, anchored by Shoemart Department Store and Supermarket earning him the title, the Philippines' Retail King. He is the chairman of SM Prime Holdings, Inc., the holding corporation for all his business interests in his vast business empire. In 2011, Forbes Magazine listed him as the richest man in the Philippines.
17. Lee Kun-hee ($ 13 billion)
Lee Kun-hee is a South Korean business magnate and the chairman of Samsung Group. He had resigned in April 2008, owing to a Samsung slush funds scandal, but returned on March 24, 2010. He speaks Korean, English, and Japanese. In 1996, Lee became a member of the International Olympic Committee. With an estimated net worth of $12.6 billion, he and his family rank among the Forbes richest people in the world. He is the third son of Samsung founder Lee Byung-chul. He is also ranked #31 on The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World.
18. Mikhail Prokhorov ( $ 13 billion)
Mikhail Dmitrievitch Prokhorov is a Russian billionaire, politician, and owner of the American basketball team the Brooklyn Nets. After graduating from the Moscow Finance Institute, he worked in the financial sector and subsequently went on to become one of Russia's leading industrialists, owning major stakes in multinational corporations in the precious metals sector. While he was running Norilsk Nickel, the company became the world's largest producer of nickel and palladium.
19. Alexei Mordashov ($ 12.8 billion)
Alexey Mordashov in Cherepovets, Vologda Oblast. He is a Russian business oligarch and billionaire. He is the main shareholder and the CEO of Severstal, a large Russian conglomerate with interests in metal, energy and mining companies. As of July 2013 he has an estimated worth of $18.5 billion.
20. Robert Kuok ($ 20.5 billion)
Robert Kuok Hock Nien, is a Malaysian Chinese billionaire businessman. According to Forbes his net worth is estimated at $10.5 billion on Feb 2012, making him the richest person in Malaysia and second richest in Southeast Asia after Dhanin Chearavanont of Thailand, according to Forbe's List of World Billionaires 2013 which Robert Kuok was placed 76th. As of December 2012, According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Kuok has an estimated net worth of 17.3 billion.
21. Ananda Krishnan ($ 11.7 billion)
Tatparanandam Ananda Krishnan is a Malaysian businessman and philanthropist. Nicknamed A K, currently he is estimated to have a net worth of US$11.7 billion according to Forbes' latest annual list of wealthiest people, making him the second wealthiest in Southeast Asia behind Robert Kuok, and number 82 in the world. Ananda Krishnan shuns public exposure and is known to maintain a low profile for a person of his stature.
22. Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi ($ 11.7 billion)
Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi is a Thai business magnate and investor. He is Thailand's third richest entrepreneur, with an estimated net worth of US$12.2 billion. He is chairman of Thai Beverage as well as Fraser & Neave Ltd. He owns the Pantip Plaza mall in Bangkok, Hotel Plaza Athenee in Manhattan, hotels in Asia, the US and Australia, plus residential, commercial and retail buildings in Singapore and Thailand.
23. Zong Qinghou ($ 11.6 billion)
Zong Qinghou is a Chinese entrepreneur, founder, Chairman and CEO of the Hangzhou Wahaha Group, the leading beverage company in China. He was ranked as China's richest man of 2012 and second-richest man of 2013, according to the China Rich List, published by Hurun Report. On the Global Rich List, he is 35th richest man in the world, with an estimated net worth of US$20 billion., Zong is a delegate to the Chinese National People's Congress.
24. Lui Che Woo ($ 10.7 billion)
Lui Che Woo was born in Jiangmen, China in August 9, 1929. He is Chairman of K. Wah Group, owner of Galaxy Entertainment Group. As of November 2013, he is the second richest man in Asia. Then in January 2014, with a worth of US$21 billion, he was named the second richest man in Hong Kong.
25. Robert Ng ( $ 10.1 billion)
Robert Ng is the chairman of Hong Kong property development conglomerate Sino Group, a position he has held since 1981. He is the eldest son of the late Ng Teng Fong, the Singaporean real estate billionaire. Forbes listed the two as the 30th richest people in the world in 1997. As of January 2015, together with his brother, Philip Ng, he has an estimated net worth of $11.5 billion