Dhammika Perera the billionaire businessman who controls the Vallibel One group, was named the richest Sri Lankan by The Rich List 2013 Sri Lanka last Friday (6th Dec). The new book values Dhammika Perera’s personal fortune at a minimum of USD 538,000,000 or Rs 70 Billion. Last week Forbes Asia valued Sri Lanka’s biggest individual publicly-listed shareholder at Rs 72.6 Billion or USD 550,000,000.
The businessman topped the Rich List 2013 list by a huge margin – his nearest rival was the 80-yearl old Sohli Captain who the Rich List estimated at USD423 Million – Rs 55 Billion. The most significant financial myth to be unearthed was The Rich List 2013 valuation of businessman Harry Jayawardena, who came in at USD 307 Million – a full USD 231 Million less than Dhammika Perera and USD 116 Million behind Sohli Captain – whose investment in the blue chip John Keels Holdings remains the single largest shareholding by any Sri Lankan national.
At the event held to formally announce the Richest Man and the Richest Woman in Sri Lanka 2013, Mr Perera was asked by the author of the book, Faraz Shauketaly as to whose valuation was closer to the accurate figure of his wealth: “I have not yet read the book which you gave me a few minutes ago. Of course I know the figure but you and Forbes Asia should debate that. I can be the referee,” said Mr Perera. The Rich List is slated to be an annual compilation of individual and corporate wealth and influence, according to Shauketaly.1425721_396090867160669_951562588_n
The Richest Woman in Sri Lanka was named as Mrs Sonia Weinman, whose business partners are Harry Jayawardena, RaajObeyesekere and Zaki Alif. The author of the bookhas coined a collective name and the Rich List refers to them as “The Famous Four” in the book. Mrs Weinman was valued at USD 76 Million ahead of other members of the fairer sex such as Mrs Lorraine Yaseen (Rs 4.3 Billion), Mrs K U Amarasinghe (Rs 2.8 Billion) Mrs R M Joshua (Rs 1.8 Billion), Miss M M Page (Rs 1.62 Billion) and the fashion icon Ms.OtaraGunawardene the creator of the Odel business ( Rs 1.6 Billion). Mrs Soma Edirisingha of Swarnamahal fame was listed the books’ Stock Market Dollar millionaires section at Rs 651 Million.
Ajith Nivaard Cabraal described the book as a “first of a kind in Sri Lanka” adding that in an “indirect way is also a confirmation that the Sri Lankan business and industry is gradually making an entry into the big league.”
The award given to Dhammika Perera as the Richest Man 2013 was of immense significance in Sri Lankan culture said a guest. The 1-kilo Walampuriya´ especially commissioned by Mr Shauketaly,is entirely hand-made in silver.