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#271 Teh Hong Piow $5.93B

Random fact: Peddled cigarettes during Japan's occupation of Singapore.

Overview

Teh is the founder and chairman of Public Bank, Malaysia's third-largest bank by assets. The Kuala Lumpur-based lender operates in Cambodia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, China and Sri Lanka, and provides financial services such as leasing and auto financing. It reported revenue of 20.1 billion Malaysian ringgit ($4.5 billion) in 2016.

As of July 21, 2017:
Last change -$6.09M (-0.1%)
YTD change +$541M (+10.0%)
Industry Finance
Biggest asset PBK MK Equity
Citizenship Malaysia
Age 87
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Teh Hong Piow's net worth of $5.93B can buy ...

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troy ounces of gold
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barrels of crude oil

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of the GDP of the United States
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of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
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of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
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of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
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of U.S. existing home sales
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times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Teh's wealth is derived from his stake in Kuala Lumpur-based Public Bank, Malaysia's third-largest bank by assets, according to its website. It reported revenue of 20.1 billion Malaysian ringgit ($4.5 billion) in 2016, according to the company's financial statements. The billionaire owns more than 22 percent of the bank he founded in 1966, according to its 2016 annual report. He also controls 44 percent of Kuala Lumpur-based insurer LPI Capital, according to its 2016 annual report.

The value of his cash investments is based on an analysis of his dividend income and insider transactions, as well as taxes and market performance.

Razak Dali, a spokesman for Public Bank, said the billionaire declined to comment on his net worth calculation.

Biography

Birthdate: 3/14/1930
Family: Married, 4 children
Education: Pacific Western University, PhD Clayton University, PhD

Teh Hong Piow was born in Singapore in 1930, the eldest son of a migrant worker who came from China's Guangdong province. He joined the banking industry in 1950, taking a job as a clerk at Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. in Singapore. Teh left Oversea-Chinese Banking a decade later, and moved to Kuala Lumpur to help set up Malayan Banking. Teh, who became a general manager within four years, had ample opportunities to interact with government officials and regulators.

Teh lobbied for a banking license when he saw the potential for another home-grown bank in an industry dominated by foreign firms, which didn't cater to the needs of most Malaysians. He opened Public Bank in 1966, in a three-story building in the country's capital. Within five months, the bank generated a profit. He listed the bank on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange in 1967.

Public Bank started expanding outside Malaysia from 1990. It bought JCG Finance, then Hong Kong's largest deposit-taking company. It started a venture in Vietnam and expanded into Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Laos over the next five years. The lender acquired Asia Commercial Bank through its Hong Kong unit in 2006.

Employees danced and sang at a party in 2011 honoring the billionaire's 45 years at the helm of Public Bank. The parade featured policemen on motorcycles, cartwheeling drummers and a mock UFO landing, which presented a giant birthday cake. Khairy Jamaluddin, who heads the youth wing of Malaysia's dominant political party, United Malays National Organisation, joked on Twitter, while referring to the late North Korean leader: "Malaysia's latest religious cult: Public Bank. Kim Jong Il would be jealous."

Milestones
  • 1930 Teh Hong Piow is born in Singapore.
  • 1966 Starts Public Bank in Kuala Lumpur with 32 employees.
  • 1967 Lists Public Bank on the Kuala Lumpur stock exchange.
  • 1990 Public Bank acquires Hong Kong-based JCG.
  • 1992 Starts Vietnam venture, VID Public Bank.
  • 1993 Public Bank buys stake in Kuala Lumpur Mutual Fund.
  • 2006 Acquires Asia Commercial Bank in Hong Kong.
  • 2007 Publishes book, "Teh Hong Piow: A Banking Thoroughbred."
  • 2008 Sets up Islamic banking subsidiary.
  • 2016 Chat Kat Kiam, a potential successor to Tan, is appointed deputy CEO.