Sy still PH’s richest, says Forbes
SM group patriarch Henry Sy cemented his position as the richest person in the Philippines, topping the list for the 10th straight year this year with an estimated net worth of $18 billion, more than three times bigger than that of the next richest, based on Forbes magazine’s 2017 ranking of the country’s 50 richest.
Sy was the biggest gainer in dollar terms among fellow tycoons, as his wealth expanded from $13.7 billion in the previous year. Two listed companies led by the Sy family—conglomerate SM Investments Corp. and SM Prime Holdings —breached the P1-trillion market capitalization mark this year.
JG Summit group founder John Gokongwei Jr. ranked second with a net worth of $5.5 billion even as his fortune declined by $1.3 billion from $6.8 billion last year.
Third-placer Enrique Razon Jr., who chairs international port operator International Container Port Terminal Services Inc. and integrated gaming resort operator Bloomberry Resort Corp., saw his wealth rise by $800 million to $4.3 billion.
Tycoon Lucio Tan, who has interests in tobacco, banking, liquor, real estate and airline businesses, ranked fourth with net worth of $4.2 billion. He saw his fortune shrink by $700 million from $4.9 billion last year.
Jaime Zobel de Ayala, retired chair and chief executive officer of the country’s oldest business house, Ayala Corp., ranked fifth with estimated net worth of $3.7 billion.
Seven of the 10 biggest dollar gainers have sizable interests in construction and property development. These include construction tycoon David Consunji (No. 6 with net worth od $3.68 billion), chair of DMCI Holdings, and Ramon Ang (No. 10 with net worth $2.3 billion) of San Miguel Corp., who nearly doubled his wealth due largely to the favorable stock market debut of his cement firm, Eagle Cement.
Megawide Construction Corp. co-founders Michael Cosiquien (No. 29, $385 million) and Edgar Saavedra (No. 31, $375 million) also saw their wealth rise by more than 45 percent.
GT Capital Holdings founder George Ty ranked 7th with net worth of $3.6 billion, which came mainly from banking, automobile manufacturing and real estate.
ollibee Foods Corp. chair and founder Tony Tan Caktiong, who is also a key investor in property firm Double Dragon Properties, ranked 8th with an estimated net worth of $3.4 billion.
Property tycoon Andrew Tan, founder of the Megaworld group and also the chief of conglomerate Alliance Global Group Inc., is the country’s 9th richest with an estimated net worth of $2.5 billion.
Other business magnates on the list who have estimated net worth of more than $1 billion are: Puregold Price Club’s Lucio and Susan Co (No. 11, $1.8 billion); Vista Land founder Manuel Villar (No. 12, $1.65 billion); Inigo and Mercedes Zobel (No. 13, $1.6 billion); insurance and power grid tycoon Robert Coyiuto Jr. (No. 14, $1.5 billion); Filinvest group’s Mercedes Gotianun (No. 15, $1.4 billion); Alphaland Corp.’s Roberto Ongpin (No. 16, $1.15 billion); San Miguel chair Eduardo Cojuangco (No. 17, $1.1 billion); and, D&L Industries’ Dean Lao (No. 18, $1 billion).
Century Pacific founder Ricardo Po Sr. ranked 19th ($980 million) and Monde Nissin’s Betty Ang ranked 20th ($880 million). Young business magnate Edgar Sia II (No. 21 with net worth $820 million), who co-chairs DoubleDragon Properties, enjoyed a surge in his net worth.
The net worth of Zest-O founder Alfredo Yao (No. 25, $600 million) fell by 26 percent as share price of his soft drink maker Macay Holdings dipped on news of higher taxes on sugary drinks.
Eusebio Tanco made his debut on the list (No. 45, $150 million), as shares of his key asset, STI Education Systems Holdings, soared by 136 percent over the past year, due to an expanding demand for courses in fields such as information and communication technology, and business and management.
There are two returnees to the list this year –A. Brown Co.’s Walter Brown (No. 43, $160 million) and Nickel Asia’s Philip Ang (No. 50, $120 million). Both returned to the list after a one-year hiatus.
The minimum amount required to make the list was $120 million, down from $145 million last year.
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