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Friday, September 1, 2006
The acclaimed Forbes Magazine has drawn up its first ‘Singapore’s 40 richest’ list in its September edition, with four Indians figuring in it. Murli Kewalram Chanrai, the owner of Olam International—the world’s largest trader of cashew nuts, features 7th in list, followed by Sudhir Gupta (13th), Kartar Singh Thakral (25th) and Mustaq Ahmad (27th).

Virtually unknown as compared to the steel baron Lakshmi Mittal and PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, these Indians are collectively worth $1.54 billion, accounting for more than five percent of the combined net worth of $28 billion accumulated by Singapore’s 40 richest people.

Murli Kewalram Chanrai (82) is worth $720 million. The $3 billion Kewalram Chanrai empire had its beginnings in a trading business in India and Nigeria in 1860, and today spans across businesses like textiles, commodities, international trade and real estate. Its subsidiary Olam International is listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange.

Sudhir Gupta (47), a Ph.D in agricultural chemistry from Russia is worth $320 million. Gupta started a small tire business in Moscow, and today heads Amtel-Vredestein, a tire company listed on London stock exchange.

Kartar Singh Thakral (73), with a net worth of $175 million owns various businesses, including the Singapore-listed Thakral Corp., a distributor of technology gears for products like iPods in China and India.

The next Indian in line is Mustaq Ahmad, (55) who is worth $165 million. He is the owner of ‘Mustafa Center’—a landmark store in Singapore’s Little India, with annual sales of $200 million.
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