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Indonesia may have its fair share of desperately poor people - including people so poor they can pass themselves off as hobbits (I kid you not) – but there are heaps of rich people too.

But who are these rich people? And who are the richest? Well, it’s not that easy to get a definitive answer as the rich can use nominee accounts and employ other trickery to hide their wealth – or simply not report it – but Forbes has come up with a new list that places seven Indonesians in the worlds 1,000 richest people.

They are:

1. Michael Hartono, ranked 258 (70 years old) US$ 3.5 billion
2. R Budi Hartono, ranked 258 (69 years old) US$ 3.5 billion

These two brothers founded Djarum, now Indonesia’s third largest cigarette company. The cash is continuing to pile up as Indonesian smokers puff away in huge numbers but growing realization among Muslims that smoking causes death (Muhammadiyah has just passed a fatwa saying
smoking in haram) may make things tougher in the longer term. But not to worry. The Djarum Group also has a majority stake in BCA (one of Indonesia’s largest banks) and many other businesses. They even control the venerable Grand Indonesia Mall in the heart of Jakarta.

3. Martua Sitorus, ranked 316 (50 years old) US$ 3 billion.

Martua, who owns the CPO producer Wilmar International, has every reason to be happy now that the government has (unbelievably) classified palm oil plantations as “forest”.

4. Peter Sondakh, ranked 437 (58 years old) US$ 2.2 billion.

Owner of the Rajawali Group, he pocketed a cool US$ 350 million from the sale of Bentoel to British American Tobacco in June 2009. Keen to give money back to the community, the
Harvard University community that is.

5. Sukanto Tanoto, ranked 536 (60 years old), US$ 1.9 billion.

Despite tax “problems” in the past, the Raja Garuda Mas Group is doing well in businesses from paper to CPO.

6. Low Tuck Kwong, ranked 828 (61 years old), US$ 1.2 billion.

Coal may be black and dirty but it’s made this chap heaps of cash through his astute purchase of coal mining firm Bayan Resources back in 1997.

7. Chairul Tanjung, ranked 937 (47 years old), US$ 1 billion.

A tender 47 and he’s already made a billion dollars. Not bad going. Owner of the Para Group – nope not those British chaps who jump out of planes but a group which owns Bank Mega, Trans TV and the Bandung Supermal shopping complex.

>>Important update (3 December 2010). The new Forbes list is now out!

I’ve included last year’s ranking in parenthesis so you can see how each rich person has fared over the year of 2010.

1. (1) R Budi & Michael Hartono US$11 billion
2. (3) Susilo Wonowidjojo US$8 billion
3. (5) Eka Tjipta Widjaja US$6 billion
4. (2) Martua Sitorus US$3.2 billion
5. (9) Anthoni Salim US$3 billion
6. (-) Sri Prakash Lohia US$2.65 billion
7. (11) Low Tuck Kwong US$2.6 billion
8. (6) Peter Sondakh US$2.3 billion
9. (7) Putra Sampoerna US$2.3 billion
10. (4) Aburizal Bakrie US$2.1 billion
11. (-) Kiki Barki US$1.7 billion
12. (12) Eddy William Katuari US$1.65 billion
13. (16) Edwin Soeryadjaya US$1.6 billion
14. (30) Boenjamin Setiawan US$1.5 billion
15. (14) Garibaldi Thohir US$1.45 billion
16. (8) Sukanto Tanoto US$1.4 billion
17. (15) Theodore Rachmat US$1.35 billion
18. (13) Chairul Tanjung US$1.25 billion
19. (20) Murdaya Poo US$1.15 billion
20. (18) Ciliandra Fangiono US$1.1 billion
21. (-) Benny Subianto US$1.05 billion
22. (19) Arifin dan Hilmi Panigoro US$985 million
23. (-) Sjamsul Nursalim US$850 million
24. (-) Agus Lasmono Suwikatmono US$845 million
25. (34) Kartini Muljadi US$840 million
26. (-) Tahir US$805 million
27. (29) Sandiaga Uno US$795 million
28. (25) Mochtar Riady US$730 million
29. (27) Ciputra US$725 million
30. (21) Hashim Djojohadikusumo US$680 million
31. (24) Harjo Sutanto US$350 million
32. (17) Trihatma Haliman US$600 million
33. (28) Hary Tanoesudibjo US$595 million
34. (22) Kusnan dan Rusdi Kirana US$580 million
35. (-) Wiwoho Baduki Tokronegoro US$575 million
36. (-) Engki Wibowo dan Jenny Quantero US$560 million
37. (38) Husain Djojonegoro US$545 million
38. (26) Eka Tjandranegara US$525 million
39. (33) Sutanto Djuhar US$490 million
40. (23) Prajogo Pangestu US$455 million

ANALYSIS

- Indonesia now has an astonishing 21 billionaires!!! This is up from only 12 in 2009.

- The top 10 richest Indonesians are now worth a staggering US43.15 billion! This is up from only US$26.1 billion last year – a net increase of US$17.05 billion!

- In percentage terms, the top 10 richest Indonesian have seen their wealth soar by 65.32 percent in only one year! Not bad, huh?!!

- By comparison, the minimum wage for Jakarta’s poorest will only rise by 15 percent in 2011 to US$143 (source: Jakarta Post).

- The combined wealth of R Budi & Michael Hartono could pay the YEARLY minimum wages of 6.41 million Indonesians!!!!!

- Sri Prakash Lohia wasn’t ranked last year but this year he is ranked 6th with US$2.65 billion. The reason for this is that like the footballer Christian Gonzales, the owner of Indorama Synthetics has now become a naturalised Indonesian citizen.

- Kiki Barki storms into 11th place from absolutely nowhere. This is the magic of listing your company on the stock market through an IPO. Kiki’s company Harum Energy was listed in October, and with the share price up over a third since IPO, Kiki is a very happy man indeed.

- The biggest “loser” must be tea tycoon Soegiharto Sosrodjojo who is not even in the top 40 any longer, although he was ranked 10th with US$ 1.2 billion last year. That’s something for him to ponder over a cup of tea, poor chap.


Here’s the previous list of the richest Indonesians in 2009:


1. R. Budi & Michael Hartono US$ 7 billion
2. Martua Sitorus US$ 3 billion
3. Susilo Wonowidjojo US$ 2.6 billion
4. Aburizal Bakrie US$ 2.5 billion
5. Eka Tjipta Widjaja U$S 2.4 billion
6. Peter Sondakh US$ 2.1 billion
7. Putera Sampoerna US$ 2 billion
8. Sukanto Tanoto US$ 1.9 billion
9. Anthoni Salim US$ 1.4 billion
10. Soegiharto Sosrodjojo US$ 1.2 billion
11. Low Tuck Kwong US$ 1.18 billion
12. Eddy William Katuari US$ 1.1 billion
13. Chairul Tanjung US$ 99 million
14. Garibaldi Thohir US$ 930 million
15. Theodore Rachmat US$ 900 million
16. Edwin Soeryadjaya US$ 800 million
17. Trihatma Haliman US$ 750 million
18. Ciliandra Fangiono US$ 710 million
19. Arifin Panigoro US$ 650 million
20. Murdaya Poo US$ 600 million
21. Hashim Djojohadikusumo US$ 500 million
22. Kusnan & Rusdi Kirana US$ 480 million
23. Prajogo Pangestu US$ 475 million
24. Harjo Sutanto US$ 470 million
25. Mochtar Riady US$ 440 million
26. Eka Tjandranegara US$ 430 million
27. Ciputra US$ 420 million
28. Hary Tanoesoedibjo US$ 410 million
29. Sandiaga Uno US$ 400 million
30. Boenjamin Setiawan US$ 395 million
31. Alim Markus US$ 350 million
32. Aksa Mahmud US$ 330 million
33. Sutanto Djuhar US$ 325 million
34. Kartini Muljadi US$ 320 million
35. Soegiarto Adikoesoemo US$ 300 million
36. George Santosa Tahija & Sjakon George Tahija US$ 290
37. Paulus Tumewu US$ 280 million
38. Husain Djojonegoro US$260 million.
39. Bachtiar Karim US$ 250 million.
40. Kris Wiluan US$ 240 million.





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