Malaysia produces 65% of the world’s rubber gloves. The industry that was “low-key” before has become so profitable during the Covid-19 pandemic. Four new billionaires have emerged due to the global surge demand for rubber gloves.
According to the Bloomberg report, the coronavirus outbreak has suddenly turning the Southeast Asian notion into a hotspot for creating billionaires within the sector. At least four billionaires have emerged including two new ones this year alone – which are Top Glove Corp, Hartalega Holdings Bhd, Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd and the newest that join the club, Supermax.
1. Top Glove Corp: Lim Wee Chai
Top Glove has more than tripled this year, lifting the net worth of its founder, Lim Wee Chai, to RM 10.69 million. According to Bloomberg, Top Glove reported a 366% surge in net income to a record RM 348 million for the three months through May, with sales also reaching an all-time high.
2. Hartalega Holdings Bhd: Kuan Kam Hon
Hartalega has seen their stock double in 2020. This has pushed the value of the Hartalega stake held by founder Kuan Kam Hon and his family to $4.8 billion. Established in 1988, Hartalega was the inventor of the world’s first lightweight Nitrile glove back in 2005. Today, they are now the largest producer of nitrile gloves in the world, capable of manufacturing 36 billion gloves a year.
3. Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd: Lim Kuang Sia
Kosan Rubber Industries whose primary business in in glove manufacturing followed by technical rubber and cleanroom manufacturing expertise has their stock double in 2020. Kossan Rubber’s Lim Kuang Sia’ worth has ballooned to $1.1 billion – making him a new billionaire this year. Lim started by making rubber bearings for boats prior manufacturing rubber gloves.
4. Supermax: Thai Kim Sim
Thai Kim Sim founded Supermax with his wife in 1987, starting it as a business trading latex gloves before venturing into manufacturing in 1989. Supermax became the first local manufacturer to come up with its own glove label named Supermax. Thai and his direct family members own 38% of Supermax, according to company filings. The company now exports to more than 160 countries and meets 12% of the global demand for latex examination gloves.