Villar, a self-made billionaire and former politician with close ties to President Duterte, emerged as the richest among the Filipino tycoons with a net worth of $5.6 billion, landing at 286th place.
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Villar, Razon among world’s richest 1,000
Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) - April 9, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Fifteen Filipino tycoons led by Manuel Villar Jr. made it to the latest Forbes world’s billionaires’ list of 2,095 people, topped for the third straight year by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos who has a whopping net worth of $113 billion.

Forbes released the list amid the coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak, a pandemic that has prompted some of the world’s wealthiest to aid in the global response to the fight against COVID-19.

Villar, a self-made billionaire and former politician with close ties to President Duterte, emerged as the richest among the Filipino tycoons with a net worth of $5.6 billion, landing at 286th place.

He is followed by ports and casino tycoon Enrique Razon, with a net worth of $3.4 billion, at 565th spot. Only Villar and Razon made it to the top 1,000 richest people on the planet.

Four of the six Sy siblings, sons of the late retail taipan Henry Sy, occupy the next succeeding slots: Hans and Herbert, each with a net worth of $2 billion, are tied at 1,063rd place, while Harley and Henry Sy Jr., each with a net worth of $1.9 billion are tied at 1,135th place.

Property tycoon Andrew Tan is also at 1,135th place with a net worth of $1.9 billion.

The eldest Sy sibling Teresita Sy-Coson is at 1,196th place with a net worth of $1.8 billion while luxury business developer Roberto Ongpin is at 1,267th place with a net worth of $1. 7 billion.

Airlines, banking and cigarette magnate Lucio Tan is at 1,267th place with a net worth of $1.7 billion, tied with Jollibee Foods Corp. founder Tony Tan Caktiong and his family also with a net worth of $1.7 billion.

Elizabeth Sy, the second child of Sy, is at 1,335th place with a net worth of $1.6 billion.

San Miguel Corp. president and COO Ramon Ang is at 1,513th place with a net worth of $1.4 billion tied with his friend Robert Coyuito Jr.

The last on the global list is Eduardo Cojuangco Jr. with a net worth of $1 billion at 1,990th place.

Some of the billionaires on the list are “serving as agents of change and taking action to reinvent their businesses to aid in the global response to the coronavirus outbreak,” Forbes said.

Billionaires like tech tycoon Bill Gates; Eric Yuan, CEO of Zoom; Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH; Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb; Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and a host of others are using their financial resources to help combat the health crisis and boost the economy.

There are 2,095 billionaires on the 2020 ranking, down from 2,153 in 2019. The total combined net worth of this year’s billionaires is $8 trillion, down from $8.7 trillion in 2020.

Some 267 people dropped off this year’s list and a record 1,062 individuals have seen a drop in their fortunes, both reflective of the turbulent markets and the coronavirus pandemic.

“The world’s richest are not immune to the devastating impact of the coronavirus,” said Kerry Dolan, Forbes assistant managing editor of Wealth.

Bezos maintained the top spot on this year’s ranking, for the third consecutive year, despite his net worth plunging by $18 billion to $113 billion, down from $131 billion last year.

The decrease in his net worth is primarily due to his recent divorce.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates remains in the number two position with a fortune of $98 billion, up $1.5 billion from last year.

Bernard Arnault of luxury maker Louis Vuitton moves up in this year’s ranking to break into the top three, after Warren Buffett’s fortune fell by $15 billion to $67.5 billion, down from $82.5 last year.

Rounding out the top five is Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle Corporation. While the software executive moves up in rank, his fortune is down $3.5 billion this year to $59 billion, Forbes said.

There are 178 billionaires who made this list for the first time, such as Eric Yuan, CEO of Zoom, who debuts on the list as Zoom gains mass popularity while many companies are shifting to a remote workforce; and MacKenzie Bezos, the ex-wife of Jeff Bezos, who lands at No. 22 on the list with a total net worth of $36 billion.

Approximately 70 percent of the list is made up of self-made billionaires, Forbes said.

There are a total of 241 women on the 2020 list, including seven who share their fortunes with their husband, child or sibling. Regionally, Asia-Pacific boasts the most billionaires, with 778, followed by the United States with 614 and Europe with 511.

By country, the US leads with the greatest number of billionaires, with 614, followed by China with 389 people on the list.

MANUEL VILLAR JR.
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