Indonesian billionaires outnumber Japanese

Featured - December 8th, 2012

The number of billionaires in Indonesia has for the first time surpassed that of Japan, driven by the Southeast Asian nation’s expanding middle class, according to a recent Forbes list.

Indonesia is now home to 32 dollar billionaires, including 26 with individual wealth and the rest made up of family members, Forbes Indonesia revealed, while Japan has 28 billionaires. This was because of the growing wealth of people behind the country’s top retail, media, banking, food and tobacco industries amid the commodities collapse, Reuters reports.

“The thing that really stands out is that the money of those that produce something for the middle class has been rising while those that made money mostly from commodities went down,” chief editorial adviser Justin Doebele told the Wall Street Journal.

Topping the list were R. Budi and Michael Hartono with $15 billion from their holdings in Bank Central Asia. Also among the top five was Anthony Salim of the Salim Group, which is behind Indofood, the world’s largest instant noodle company.

Also in the ranks were newcomers such as mall and property developer Alexander Tedja, worth $790 million, snack manufacturer Garudafood’s Suhamek, with $760 million, and Eddy Kusnadi Sariaatmadja, who made $730 million from selling computers and managing television stations.

China has more than 100 billionaires and India 50, but Indonesia has more per capita, the Journal reports.

Indonesia’s economic outlook is projected to grow more than 6% this year on the back of foreign direct investments.