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FEER: One-Man Show
By S. Jayasankaran

1/1/2002 11:18 am Tue

[Rencana ringkas ini mungkin nampak tidak begitu menyerlah tetapi ada sesuatu yang ingin disampaikannya. Bukankah Mahathir juga adalah one-man show sekarang? Sila rujuk juga rencana Fortune: Meet Kuala Lumpur's Mr. Big. - Editor]

One-Man Show

For the first time, three companies in Malaysia's top 10 are owned by the same tycoon

By S. Jayasankaran/KUALA LUMPUR

Issue cover-dated December 27, 2001 - January 3, 2002

Company Leaders (Chart)

co. chart

MALAYSIAN MAGNATE T Ananda Krishnan undoubtedly made the biggest splash on this year's REVIEW 200 list. All three companies that he controls made the Malaysian top 10--a first for any Malaysian businessman since the survey began. The three are Malaysia's largest mobile-phone operator Maxis Communications (No. 6), satellite and Internet services provider Measat Broadcast Systems Network (No. 9) and gaming and entertainment company Tanjong (No. 10).

Tanjong is publicly listed, while, like national oil corporation Petronas (which jumped to No. 3 from No. 5 previously), both Maxis and Measat aren't. Indeed, Measat is still losing money, while Maxis began turning a profit in 1999. But the survey respondents liked both companies' management and their high-quality products and services. "I'm not surprised," says Dominic Armstrong, the head of research for ABN Amro in Singapore. "Krishnan has run his companies according to international standards and now they're bearing fruit."

Gaming and cruise-ship conglomerate Genting placed first overall for the eighth year running. The company has an impressive cash hoard and has diversified out of gaming into power, plantations, paper and oil and gas. And most of these divisions are profitable. Public Bank moved up a notch to the second spot, a testimony to its prudence and superior asset quality. In a climate of rising bad debt, the bank held its own at 4.5%, way below the industry average of 12%.

Petronas moved up smartly, thanks to its steady management and impressive balance sheet. For the six months to end-September 2001, Malaysia's only Fortune 500 company registered a pre-tax profit of over 13 billion ringgit ($3.42 billion) on sales of 33.3 billion ringgit.

Maybank, Malaysia's largest bank, dropped two places to No. 4, perhaps due to lower earnings and rising levels of bad debt, which reached 8.3% by the end of September 2001. The rest of the top 10 were largely unchanged from last year, with infrastructure company YTL Corp., manufacturing firm Hong Leong Industries and multinational Sime Darby all making return appearances.