Philippine's richest see collective wealth increase by 30% – Forbes

Iris Gonzales - The Philippine Star
Philippine's richest see collective wealth increase by 30% � Forbes
The heirs of late retail magnate Henry Sy Sr. added $2.7 billion to their fortunes this year, staying at the top spot with a combined net worth of $ 16.6 billion, according to Forbes’ new list released Thursday.
Philstar.com / Enrico Alonzo

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s richest people saw their collective wealth increase by 30 percent to $79 billion this year despite the COVID-19 pandemic and last year’s recession, as reported in Forbes magazine’s list of Philippines’ 50 Richest in 2021.

The Sy siblings, heirs to the group built by the late retail tycoon Henry Sy Sr., added $2.7 billion to their lot to remain at No. 1 with a net worth of $16.6 billion.

Property tycoon Manuel Villar Jr. continued to see his wealth increase, this time rising by $1.7 billion to $6.7 billion, retaining the No. 2 spot he held last year.

Ports, casino and now water tycoon Enrique Razon Jr., who expanded his portfolio by taking control of Manila Water, saw a $1.5 billion increase in his wealth to retain his No. 3 slot with $5.8 billion.

Lance Gokongwei, the only son of the late John Gokongwei Jr., together with his siblings, is in fourth with a net worth of $4 billion.

Jaime Zobel de Ayala of Ayala Corp., the country’s oldest conglomerate occupies the fifth spot with a net worth of $3.3 billion.

Forbes noted that newcomers entered the Top 50 list of richest Filipinos as a decline in wealth was seen in others as measured in their respective net worths as of Sept. 7.

In the Top 10, for instance, taipan Lucio Tan, the airline, banking and cigarette magnate who was once the country’s richest Filipino, fell to No. 12.
On the other hand, fiber internet power couple Dennis Anthony Uy and his wife Mary Grace debuted in the circle of 10 richest Filipinos for the first time this year. With a net worth of $2.8 billion, following the successful public listing of their Converge ICT Solutions last year, the Uy couple is at No. 6 of the Forbes list.

Jollibee Group founder Tony Tan Caktiong is at No. 7 with a net worth of $2.7 billion, while Andrew Tan of Megaworld comes next with a net worth of $2.6 billion.

San Miguel Corp. president and CEO Ramon Ang is at No. 9 place with a net worth of $2.3 billion, while Ty siblings led by Arthur and Alfred completes the Top 10 with a net worth of $2.2 billion.

The biggest gainer in the country’s Richest 50 list, however, is Betty Ang, co-founder and president of snack foods giant Monde Nissin.

“Despite pandemic headwinds, an active IPO market in the Philippines made Betty Ang… this year’s biggest percentage gainer. Ang climbed 20 spots to No. 18 following more than a seven-fold jump in her wealth to $1.4 billion after Monde Nissin’s June listing, which raised a record $1 billion. The IPO produced three newcomers to the ranks – Monde Nissin chairman Hartono Kweefanus (No. 11, $1.95 billion); the company’s CEO Henry Soesanto (No. 25, $795 million); and brothers Keng Sun and Peter Mar (No. 35, $410 million), heirs to a biscuit business that was sold by their family to Monde Nissin,” Forbes said.

A total of eight newcomers created a healthy churn in this year’s list, Forbes added.

“They include Luis Yu Jr. (No. 32, $445 million) and Mariano Martinez Jr. (No. 49, $205 million), owners of 8990 Holdings, a builder of low-cost homes, as well as husband and wife Benedicto and Teresita Yujuico (No. 48, $210 million) who reaped riches from the listing of DDMP REIT, an office landlord they co-own with fellow listee Edgar Sia II,” Forbes said.

On the other hand, more than a dozen people on the list saw their fortunes decline, including Tan who spiralled down to a net worth of $1.9 billion as the pandemic affected his Philippine Airlines, which racked up losses and filed for bankruptcy in the United States.

No. 50 on the list is Zesto Corp. founder Alfredo Yao with a net worth of $200 million.

The minimum net worth to make the list this year was $200 million, up from $100 million last year.

Forbes said the list was compiled using shareholding and financial information obtained from the families and individuals, stock exchanges, analysts and other sources.

Unlike the billionaire rankings, this list includes family fortunes, including those shared among extended families.

Net worths are based on stock prices and exchange rates as of the close of markets on Aug. 20, 2021, Forbes said.

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