This story is part of Forbes' coverage of Indonesia’s Richest 2019. See the full list here.
Citizens of the world’s fourth most populous nation in May reelected president Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to a second term, hoping he can steer the country through the global trade headwinds that helped keep Indonesia’s economy in check this year. Despite the slowdown, the country’s 50 richest added $5.6 billion to their combined wealth, which touched a record $134.6 billion this year.
Close to half of those on the list saw their fortunes rise. The Hartono brothers stayed No. 1 for the eleventh consecutive year, with a net worth of $37.3 billion, as shares of their Bank Central Asia surged.
The biggest gainer by far was petrochemicals and energy tycoon Prajogo Pangestu, who jumped seven spots to No. 3. Investors drove up shares of his Barito Pacific on the prospect of rising demand for the power it produces.
There are five new names, among them Ferrari fan and construction tycoon Donald Sihombing, who founded and runs the company that built the Four Seasons hotel in Jakarta, Totalindo Eka Persada, as well as Winarko Sulistyo, who sold a 45% stake in packaging paper producer, Fajar Surya Wisesa, to Thailand’s Siam Cement in May for $557 million. (He and his family still own 44%.)
Three others appear in place of patriarchs who passed away. The founder of the Sinar Mas group, Eka Tjipta Widjaja, died in January, leaving his vast fortune to several heirs who are now grouped as the Widjaja family at No. 2 (last year Widjaja was No. 3 with $8.6 billion). The Ciputra family (No. 25) inherited the $1.3 billion fortune of property baron Ciputra, who went by one name and who died in November at age 88. The Hamami family at No. 46 replaced the late Achmad Hamami, a former jet pilot, whose Tiara Marga Trakindo group is a distributor of Caterpillar heavy equipment. Textile magnate Iwan Lukminto returns to the list at No. 50, after a one-year absence, with $585 million.
While both the Indonesian rupiah and its stock market eked out gains of 1.5% and 1.6% respectively since last year’s list, 20 returnees suffered a drop in their net worth. Prominent among them is Susilo Wonowidjojo, who fell by $2.6 billion and slipped to No. 4 from No. 2. Shares of his clove cigarette maker Gudang Garam dropped after the government said in September it would next year raise cigarette prices and increase the cigarette excise tax by 23%. Three from last year didn’t make the cut in this round.
Reporting By Megha Bahree, Ulisari Eslita, Shintya Felicitas, Pudji Lestari, Anis Shakirah Mohd Muslimin, Anuradha Raghunathan, Yessar Rosendar, Sheela Sarvananda, Ardian Wibisono.
This list was compiled using shareholding and financial information obtained from the families and individuals, stock exchanges, annual reports and analysts. The ranking lists both individual and family fortunes, including those shared among relatives. Private companies were valued based on similar companies that are publicly traded. Public fortunes were calculated based on stock prices and exchange rates as of November 19, 2019.