Sy richest Filipino on Forbes list, again
Some of them were poorer by hundreds of millions of dollars as the stock market pulled back from the peak last year, but they remained the 50 wealthiest people in the Philippines.
Henry Sy, founder of the SM group of companies, was the country’s wealthiest person, keeping the distinction for the ninth year, based on the 2016 ranking by Forbes Asia magazine of the 50 richest in the Philippines.
Sy’s net worth was placed at $13.7 billion, down from last year’s $14.4 billion.
SM Investments Corp. is the dominant player in Philippine banking, retailing and property development.
The next richest person in the country is John Gokongwei, with $6.8 billion in net worth, up $1.3 billion. Gokongwei’s JG Summit group has interests in food and beverage, real estate, airline, banking and petrochemicals.
Fabulous 50 firms
The group’s Robinsons Retail, along with Jollibee Foods Corp. and Puregold Price Club, landed on Forbes Asia’s “Fabulous 50” roster of the region’s best publicly traded big firms.
The Aboitiz family climbed to third place, from seventh, with its fortune estimated at $5 billion, up from from last year’s $3.6 billion. The family’s wealth is anchored on power and banking businesses.
Lucio Tan remained in fourth place, with a net worth of $4.9 billion, an improvement from $4.3 billion. Tan is engaged in the banking, tobacco, liquor, airline and property businesses.
George Ty, founder of the GT Capital Holdings group, was in fifth place, with a fortune of $4.6 billion, higher than last year’s $4 billion. GT Capital is into banking, power generation, real estate, car manufacturing and distribution and bancassurance.
Tony Tan Caktiong, founder of Jollibee and cochair of DoubleDragon Properties, was the sixth richest, with $4.3 billion. He was in 10th place last year.
Jaime Zobel de Ayala and family, the clan behind the country’s oldest business conglomerate Ayala Corp., ranked seventh, with $4.1 billion.
The eighth richest is Enrique Razon Jr., owner of port terminal operator International Container Terminal Services Inc. and gaming operator Bloomberry Resorts Corp. His fortune was placed at $3.5 billion, making him $600 million poorer than last year’s level.
David Consunji, founder of the DMCI Holdings group, ranked ninth, with a net worth of $3.1 billion.
Property tycoon Andrew Tan was the 10th richest with a net worth of $3 billion, poorer by $1.5 billion from last year. His ranking fell from third place last year.
New billionaire Sia
The year’s biggest winner percentage-wise was new billionaire Edgar Sia II (No. 17 with net worth of $1.2 billion). His wealth rose 200 percent, thanks to DoubleDragon Properties, the fast-growing real estate development company he owns with Tan Caktiong.
Ramon Ang (No. 16), who owns and runs conglomerate San Miguel, saw his net worth increase by $700 million to $1.21 billion, attributed to the company’s growth strategy in energy and other infrastructure that propelled its stock value by 50 percent.
New to the Top 50 roster this year is Ben Tiu (No. 44, $175 million). The eldest son of steel magnate John Tiu Ka Cho took over TKC Metals in 1987 and led its entry into financial services with thrift bank Sterling Bank of Asia. He also cofounded one of the country’s largest nonbanking remittance firms I-Remit.
Bienvenido Tantoco Sr. (No. 46, $165 million) suffered the biggest loss percentage-wise this year. His wealth fell 65 percent from $480 million last year. His publicly listed SSI Group saw its first-quarter net profit fall by half.
The wealth of mining tycoons also took a blow last year as nickel prices dropped and President Duterte is taking measures to tighten regulations for the sector. Three mining magnates dropped off from this year’s list, including Philip Ang, who ranked No. 41 last year.
The minimum amount required to make the list was $145 million, up from $120 million last year.
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