Story : Malaysia Top Glove Company & Founder Lim Wee Chai – USD 4.6 Billion Net Worth & Share Price Could Reach RM77.60

Who Owns Top Glove?

Tan Sri Dr Lim Wee Chai is a Malaysian businessman. He is the Executive Chairman and Founder of Top Glove Corporation Bhd, a rubber glove making company, which was founded in 1991 and is listed on Bursa Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange) and the main board of the Singapore Exchange (SGX).

Lim Wee Chai started Top Glove with his wife in 1991 and took the company public in 2001.

Top Glove has since emerged as the world’s largest manufacturer of gloves, capturing about 26% of the world market share. Today, the company owns and operates 45 manufacturing facilities with a total of 700 production lines in Malaysia, Thailand, and China.

These factories have a production capacity of 78.7 billion pieces of gloves per year, to meet the demand of over 2,000 customers in more than 195 countries. In 2017, Lim announced that Top Glove would launch a new condom business in 2018 with a RM30 million (US$7 million) investment.

Top Glove controls 26% of the world market for rubber gloves. It is aiming to increase its world market share to 30% by the end of 2020.


The company has 43 factories with an annual capacity of 70.5 billion gloves.
Lim, whose parents are rubber plantation owners and traders, also holds a 10% stake in property developer Tropicana and sits on its board.

Businessman Lim Wee Chai is certainly the man of the hour. He is going places no Malaysian tycoons have.

Top Glove is expected to create Malaysian history soon by announcing the biggest jump in quarterly profit for a listed company.


He is a strong supporter of Tzu Chi, like fellow tycoon Vincent Tan.
Tzu Chi, headquartered in Taiwan, is a Buddhist charitable organisation which has volunteers and supporters all over the world. Malaysia, with a million-strong following, is an integral overseas centre.

Lim has been involved in Tzu Chi’s fundraising efforts for some years, thanks to his persuasive wife Tong Siew Bee, a full time and long-time Tzu Chi volunteer.

Sharing his experience of serving Tzu Chi, Lim said he could only raise 36 ringgit (US$8.45) on his first outing after walking the streets for two hours.

“Nobody knew me and few donated. But that frustration did not dampen my enthusiasm to carry out good and meaningful work,” he said in an interview with The Star.

Despite having to manage a huge corporation for six-and-a-half days a week, Lim persisted in availing himself to attend Tzu Chi’s volunteer course to be a “qualified and certified” volunteer.

Those unfamiliar with the Tzu Chi way would be stunned if they saw a tycoon like Lim seeking donations in public places, where volunteers need to bow and thank donors and the people they help.

Tzu Chi volunteers consider it an honour and privilege to engage in charitable work. The organisation has even helped rebuild mosques and churches in areas affected by disasters.

Lim’s most distinctive feature is his constant reminder to his listeners – especially those meeting him for the first time and sharing a moment – to take care of their body to remain healthy.


Lim graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree with Honours in Physics in 1982, from University Malaya, and obtained his Master of Business Administration in 1985 from Sul Ross State University in Texas, United States.

He also obtained his PhD in Management from the University of Selangor in Malaysia in 2015, and was conferred an Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration by Oklahoma City University in the United States in 2016.

In August 2018, Lim was also conferred an Honorary Doctorate in Entrepreneurship by Management & Science University, Shah Alam, Malaysia

Glovemaker founder’s net worth jumps six-fold on pandemic demand

GLOVEMAKERS are arguably the winners of the pandemic. Since the virus held grip, glovemakers’ counters rallied, making them among the most valued companies on Bursa Malaysia.

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Top Glove Corp Bhd has barged its way up to second on the list of the largest companies by market cap on the local stock market, shrugging off banking giants.

It has seen its share price spike 500.86% as of yesterday to RM27.94 since the start of the year, valuing the world’s largest glovemaker at RM75.55 billion.


Founder Tan Sri Dr Lim Wee Chai, 62, through his interest in Top Glove has moonshot his wealth to RM24.55 billion held when the share price was RM27.94 on Aug 5, 2020.

This is a RM20.75 billion increase within a nine-month period compared to the near RM3.8 billion of his net value when the price was RM4.37.

Lim’s spouse, Puan Sri Tong Siew Bee, their son Lim Jin Feng, and Lim Hooi Sin, Lim’s brother, also shared their good fortunes with their wealth surging throughout the nine months period.

Based on RM75.6 billion market cap as at Aug 5, 2020, Tan Sri Lim and family’s net worth is estimated to be at RM25.94 billion.


The company’s main challenge has been to keep its 44 factories around the world running 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to meet soaring orders for medical gloves from 195 countries, practically every state on the planet.

Even so, Top Glove’s lead time for orders has increased almost 10 times, from 30-40 days to nearly 300 days. Prices are rising as well as output, even as rival rubber glove makers in Malaysia and key Chinese competitors manufacturing from vinyl expand volumes to meet global annual demand now seen as far exceeding last year’s 290bn pieces.

Top Glove’s share price has risen more than 250 per cent this year, giving it a market value of about $10bn in early June. With a 27 per cent stake, Lim himself is now worth about $2.6bn, according to Forbes, the US business media group, putting him among Asia’s 778 billionaires.

His success in the midst of a pandemic is only the latest reminder of south-east Asia’s rising economic and financial clout, with ambassadors from the developed world, including Japan, Australia and the Netherlands, beating a path to his door to help solve supply crises on which their citizens’ health depends.


Top Glove — which claims to account for 26 per cent of the world market for rubber gloves — is an example of the kind of added-value own-brand production the Malaysian government has long sought to help lift the nation from middle-income status into the ranks of advanced economies.

Lim’s personal history reflects this modernisation drive, which has seen an economy based on commodities industrialise and diversify. His ethnic Chinese parents went into business as traders and rubber plantation owners when the country was still emerging from the British empire.

Lim’s early life coincided with the tumultuous early years of Malaysia’s independence, which were marked by tensions between the majority ethnic Malays and the smaller, but largely wealthier, Chinese community, culminating in race riots in 1969. The Malay-dominated government eased the conflict by developing pro-Malay policies which still left scope for Chinese families to succeed, principally in business.

Before founding Top Glove, Lim worked in sales at OYL Industries, a Malaysian air conditioner manufacturer later acquired by Japan’s Daikin, and then went to study in the US, completing an MBA at Sul Ross State University in Texas.

He started Top Glove in 1991 with a single production line in a factory in Meru, near Kuala Lumpur, and 100 employees. The company was floated in Kuala Lumpur in 2001 and listed in Singapore, on the region’s most international exchange, in 2016.

“You could call him a real industrialist,” says Rizal Ishak, a consultant to Malaysia’s glove manufacturers, citing a strict management culture focused on ensuring seamless production and that “everything is funded well . . . He runs a very tight shop, no question”.



Among the “chairman philosophies” listed on Top Glove’s website is a call on staff to clean, eat, work, exercise and sleep well to achieve “reverse ageing”, accompanied by a photo of Lim playing badminton. Another section lists four types of learners: fast, slow, non-learner or wrong learner. “The choice is yours. What will you choose?” the chairman asks.


The company, with 19,000 employees, is also facing labour shortages as it looks to increase its 12,000-strong production floor staff to ensure it runs at full capacity.

While foreign workers account for about 60 per cent of Top Glove’s personnel, mainly from Nepal and Bangladesh, Malaysia’s closing of its borders in March forced the company to focus on hiring locally. “[We] still have some shortage . . . but we should be able to get enough workers from companies that are retrenching and reducing their workforce,” he says.


Top Glove, the world’s largest rubber glove maker by capacity, aims to become a Fortune 500 company by 2040 by pursuing a bigger share of the international glove market.

As for personal goals, Lim is determined to live until he is 120 years old by following the principles of healthy living he has enshrined at Top Glove. “I am still very young . . . it’s just started”.

Living long and healthy with Top Glove founder’s ‘Well’-ness tips

He told The Health digital magazine that placing priority on mental and physical well-being has helped him build his wealth. Lim has practised what he calls his “5 Quality Wells” since young – Clean well, Eat well, Work well, Exercise well and Sleep well, which he believes is the formula for a long, healthy and prosperous life.

“If you follow these simple practices closely, I believe you will be able to live healthily and contribute positively until you are 120 years old or more,” he said.

Propelling him is his personal motto – “Work is my Hobby, Exercise is my Duty, and Health is my Wealth”. “Work is my Hobby” is a reflection of how much he enjoys his work. “Exercise is my Duty” underscores his commitment to stay healthy.

“I intend to live and work till I am at least 120 years old or for as long as I am still able to contribute positively,” he was quoted as saying.

“Therefore, I need to ensure my body is fit enough to do so. To fit in regular exercise, even in my busy schedule, I must slot in exercise/sports as part of my daily routine,” he said.

The 62-year-old entrepreneur plays badminton twice a week and golf as well as yoga once a week. “I also stretch for at least 10 minutes in the morning when I wake up and again before I go to bed. My schedule is planned out every day including time for my breakfast, lunch, dinner and exercise,” he added.

Besides the 5 Wells, Lim has turned full vegetarian since 2018 and goes for health checks regularly. “I feel healthier and more energetic after this transition [to a vegetarian],” he said.

Lim’s 5 Quality Wells:

  1. Clean well: Brush your teeth and clean your tongue three times a day, bathe two times a day;
  2. Eat well: Eat quality and a variety of food. Eat in moderation and not quantity;
  3. Work well: Work smarter, faster and harder, be proactive and be seng mok (Cantonese for “smart”). Have a positive mindset and be honest;
  4. Exercise well: Exercise about 30 minutes a day, four to five times a week, avoid being under- or over-stressed;
  5. Sleep well: Sleep seven to eight hours a night.

He also has a peculiar induction for all new employees – everyone receives a toothbrush, toothpaste, tongue cleaner and dental floss, and all staff are required to brush their teeth three times a day.

Top Glove market cap rebounds

: Top Glove Corp Bhd’s market capitalisation rose back to above RM60 billion at Bursa Malaysia’s afternoon break today after slipping to below the figure in morning trade. Its share price cut losses after falling to its lowest so far earlier today at RM7.12, which valued the company at RM57.89 billion.

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At the 12.30pm break, Top Glove settled down 45 sen or 5.89% at RM7.19, with a market capitalisation of RM62.09 billion. The stock saw some 70 million shares traded.

The glove maker’s market capitalisation is based on its 8.13 billion issued shares.

Yesterday, Top Glove closed at RM7.64, giving it a market capitalisation of RM62.11 billion.

TOP GLOVE : A 1000% rally has glove maker stock mania outpacing even Tesla

In Southeast Asia, makers of rubber gloves are attracting more investor fervor than even the electric cars and flame throwers of Elon Musk. Top Glove Corp. is up 389% this year in Kuala Lumpur, the most on the MSCI Asia Pacific Index, while Supermax Corp. has leaped more than 1,000%, compared with Tesla’s 259%.

That’s due to the boom in glove demand thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, aided by a short-selling ban in Malaysia till year-end.

The meteoric rise has been unprecedented by Malaysian standards, with the top three glove makers adding about 109 billion ringgit ($26 billion) in combined market value this year.

Top Glove now Malaysia’s second-biggest company

TOP Glove has vaulted past Public Bank Bhd to become the second-most valuable stock on Malaysia’s equities benchmark, capping a dizzying rally by the rubber glove maker.

Shares of Top Glove, which ranked near the bottom of the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index at the start of the year, closed on Thursday with a market value of RM70.4 billion, exceeding Public Bank’s RM69.5 billion.

The astonishing surge in Top Glove’s shares has closed the RM63 billion gap at the beginning of 2020 between its market capitalisation and that of Public Bank, the nation’s third-largest lender by assets.

Glove makers have been standout performers in the wake of the global pandemic as they benefited from supernormal demand, burnishing their investment appeal.

Standing in the way of Top Glove’s pursuit of the top seat is Malayan Banking Bhd, the nation’s largest lender with a market value of RM88.6 billion.

“Top Glove and its peers can become the biggest companies in Malaysia in a short time because of the demand boost from the pandemic,” said Danny Wong, chief executive officer at Areca Capital Sdn Bhd.

Southeast Asian investors should add gloves in their portfolios or they would underperform the market this year and maybe next, he said.

Top Glove shares have risen 456 per cent this year, while Public Bank and Malayan Banking have declined 7.8 per cent and 8.8 per cent, respectively

Top Glove could touch RM77.60 per share in bull scenario — Citi

Top Glove Corp Bhd’s share price could reach RM77.60 in a bull scenario, according to Citi Research, as the group is poised to raise prices and capitalise on strong demand for gloves, given the group’s large manufacturing capacity.

In a note on Tuesday, the research house reiterated that Top Glove is “a clear winner” by virtue of it having the largest capacity, allowing the group to lead the pack in raising glove prices.

“Capacity-wise, the group also has the most near- to medium-term capacity coming to absorb pandemic-driven demand; our bull-case valuation of Top Glove is RM77.60,” said Citi, which has a target price (TP) of RM48.10 and “buy” rating for the glove manufacturer.

Top Glove had risen 26 sen or 1.06% to RM24.76, giving it a market capitalisation of RM67.04 billion.

Hartalega rose 38 sen or 2.36% to RM16.50, with a market value of RM56.56 billion.

Kossan was 12 sen or 0.79% higher at RM15.22, with a market cap of RM19.47 billion.

Supermax surged 64 sen or 3.39% to RM19.52, bringing it a market value of RM26.55 billion.

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