Indonesia’s richest nearly double wealth in 2007; dictator’s son on Forbes list


JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesian business tycoons nearly doubled their net worth to US$40 billion (€27 billion) in 2007, Forbes business magazine said Thursday, helped by soaring profits from coal, palm oil and paper.

Government Welfare Minister Aburizal Bakrie – whose net worth surged more than fourfold to US$5.4 billion (€3.7 billion) on a stake in coal company PT Bumi Resources – topped the Forbes list of the 40 richest Indonesians.

The Bakrie family owns considerable infrastructure, property and telecommunications interests, but the largest contributor to its wealth in 2007 was a 600 percent rise in coal stocks, Forbes said.

The second son of former dictator Suharto, Bambang Trihatmodjo, entered the list for the first time at number 33 with US$200 million (€136 million) from his stake in conglomerate Mediacom.

Bambang’s 86-year-old father, who Transparency International says amassed upward of US$15 billion (€10 billion) during 32 years in power, was not listed.

Last year’s richest Indonesian, Sukanto Tanoto, who owns one of Asia’s largest pulp and paper companies and a leading palm oil producer, slipped to second place with a net of US$4.7 billion (€3.2 billion), up from US$2.8 billion last year.

Indonesia now has 11 billionaires, four more than in 2006, according to Forbes. The magazine only considered individuals with at least US$120 million (€82 million) in assets for the ranking.