FORBES ASIA closes out our annual coverage of Asia's wealthiest tycoons on a low note. The total worth for all 480 tycoons fell to $779 billion, from $940 billion, despite the fact that we added an additional list of 40 Richest. Fortunes in Indonesia have collapsed with the global economy, pushed down by a dismal stock market, off 54% since last year; plunging commodity prices; and a weak rupiah, which lost nearly a quarter of its value in the past year. The central bank established more stringent currency controls in November to limit speculation after the rupiah hit a decade low. No surprise then that the nation's 40 Richest and their families are now worth a total of $21 billion, down from $40 billion. Fourteen have lost more than half of their fortunes, including former billionaires Aburizal Bakrie and Eka Tjipta Widjaja. There are only 7 billionaires, down from 11 in 2007. Two of the 40 added to their fortunes, but the gains had more to do with information gathering than appreciation of assets.
Tobacco executive Rachman Halim died in July. The fortune, which was shared with his five siblings, is now listed under the family's name, Wonowidjojo. Three members of last year's list failed to make the cut, despite the fact that the minimum net worth fell to $55 million from $120 million. Net worths were calculated using Nov. 28 stock prices and exchange rates. Privately held companies were valued by comparing them with similar publicly traded companies. This ranking, unlike the Forbes Billionaires list, includes family fortunes like the one belonging to Anthoni Salim and his family as well as individual ones like that of Martua Sitorus. (Forbes.com)