Mukesh D. Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries Ltd., attends the Ajay Mushran Memorial Lecture in New Delhi, India. (Photographer: Pankaj Nangia/Bloomberg)

Mukesh Ambani’s Family Tops Forbes List Of Asia’s Richest, Pips Lees Of South Korea

India's Mukesh Ambani family is the richest in Asia as its net worth rose $19 billion to $44.8 billion, toppling the Lees of the Samsung empire, to claim the numero uno position, Forbes said.

Despite dropping to the second spot, Korea's Lee family still saw its wealth soar by $11.2 billion to $40.8 billion this year as shares of Samsung Electronics moved up 75 percent over the past year.

According to Asia's 50 Richest Families compiled by Forbes, Hong Kong's Kwok family, Asia's richest real estate household that controls Sun Hung Kai Properties, ranked third this year with a net wealth of $40.4 billion. Thailand's Chearavanont family of the Charoen Pokphand Group took the fourth spot on the list, with a net worth of $36.6 billion.

The Ambanis are the only Indian family on the top 10 richest families list in Asia.

"No family highlights this surge better than the Ambanis of India, this year's biggest gainer in dollar and percentage terms," Forbes said.

It noted that shares in Mukesh Ambani's conglomerate Reliance Industries soared on the back of improved refining margins and the demand produced by its telecom arm, Reliance Jio, which notched up 140 million subscribers since it was launched in 2016.

On the list of Asia's Richest Families 2017, compiled by Forbes, India enjoys the biggest presence in the ranking for the third time with as many as 18 families.

Other richest Indian families on the list feature the following:

  • Premjis (rank 11, $19.2 billion net worth)
  • Hindujas (12th, $18.8 billion)
  • Mittals (14th, $17.2 billion)
  • Mistrys (16th, $16.1 billion)
  • Birlas (19th, $14.1 billion)

Other Indian families that got into the exalted list include the Godrej family (20th, $14 billion), the Bajajs (26th, $9.3 billion), the Jindal family (32nd, $7.7 billion), the Burmans (35th, $7.05 billion), Eicher Motors' Lals (36th, $7 billion) and Shree Cement's Bangur family (37th, $6.7 billion).

Motherson Sumi Systems Sehgal family (41st, $6.2 billion), the Wadia family (42nd, $6.14 billion), DLF's Kushal Pal Singh (44th, $6.1 billion), the Patel family which controls Cadila (45th, $6 billion), the Piramals (47th, $5.38 billion) and the Munjals (48th, $5.37 billion) also made the cut.

Collectively, the 50 families in the club are worth a record $699 billion, up by nearly $200 billion from last year, according to Forbes.

The list of Asia's 50 Richest Families is a snapshot of wealth using stock prices and currency exchange rates from the close of markets on Nov. 3. Private companies were valued by using financial ratios and other comparisons with similar publicly traded firms.

The ticket to entry for this year's list was $5 billion, $1.6 billion more than in 2016.

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