If you had asked us in December or January what the new hot sector creating new billionaires would be – well, suffice it to say that we would never have guessed that this sector would be rubber gloves. A hot start of new technology? Sure. A biotechnology company? Absolutely. A real estate developer? Of course. A manufacturer of rubber gloves? Well, 2020 turns out to be strange in many ways. I mean, did any of us think four or five months ago that face masks would be the new sexy accessory? Nope.
Malaysia produces two-thirds of the global supply of rubber gloves. The demand for rubber gloves in 2020 created at least four billionaires – two of whom are new billionaires this year alone. Thai Kim Sim, owner of the Supermax Club, is the most recent to join the 10-figure club. He reached a net worth of $ 1 billion during a surge in inventories in early June. Top Glove Corp., the world’s largest manufacturer of rubber gloves, Hartalega Holdings and Kossan Rubber Industries, are other companies that have benefited from the coronavirus epidemic. Supermax, however, has seen its share price increase fivefold in recent months.
Thai Kim Sim and his wife founded Supermax in 1987. The business started as a business that sold rubber gloves. He started manufacturing gloves in 1989 and became the first manufacturer to create his own glove label. Supermax exports to more than 160 countries and supplies 12% of the world’s rubber gloves. Thai and its immediate family own 38% of Supermax.
Social distancing, protective gear such as masks and gloves, and temperature controls have become the norm in the strange new world of 2020. The coronavirus pandemic has killed 430,000 people worldwide and only shows no signs of stopping – despite responsible citizens and healthcare professionals ” At best, people who refuse to wear masks in public continue to spread the deadly disease. This is probably good news for manufacturers of rubber gloves (and face masks).
Malaysia became the world leader in the production of latex gloves in the 1980s. Demand then increased due to the rise of AIDS. With low labor costs in the Southeast Asian country, entrepreneurs were able to take advantage of the country’s large rubber plantations and its large petroleum industry to make rubber gloves.
Lim Wee Chai is the founder of Top Glove. He has seen his business more than triple this year, bringing his net worth to $ 2.5 billion. His business recorded a 366% increase in revenue for the three months ending May 31. Hartalega and Kossan saw their stocks double in 2020. Kuan Kam Hon and his family own Hartalega, and his net worth has grown to $ 4.8 billion. Kossan Rubber’s Lim Kuang Sia is another new billionaire with a net worth of $ 1.1 billion.
Supermax experienced the largest increase of the year with a 394% increase in share prices. Supermax manufactures 24 billion gloves each year. The company predicts that this figure will reach 44 billion by 2024. Supermax has acquired more land to build a larger manufacturing plant to meet global demand for rubber gloves. This seems like good news for Thai Kim Sim. And it is, as long as China does not get into the game of rubber gloves. Last week, China increased production of protective gloves, causing Supermax’s share price to fall 13%, its biggest drop since August 2018.