More billionaires, but wealth shrinks

Robert and Philip Ng of Far East Organisation and Sino Group are Singapore's richest men for the sixth consecutive year.
Robert(above) and Philip Ng of Far East Organisation and Sino Group are Singapore's richest men for the sixth consecutive year.PHOTO: FORBES
Robert and Philip Ng(above) of Far East Organisation and Sino Group are Singapore's richest men for the sixth consecutive year.
Robert and Philip Ng(above) of Far East Organisation and Sino Group are Singapore's richest men for the sixth consecutive year.ST FILE PHOTO

Total net worth of 50 richest people here down 5%, half of them seeing drop in fortunes

The total wealth of Singapore's 50 richest people has dipped over the past year but there are now more billionaires in the country, according to Forbes.

It noted that the combined net wealth of the top 50 shrank 5 per cent to US$92.3 billion (S$126.6 billion) compared with a year ago, with around half of the people on the list seeing their wealth decline.

But there are now 28 billionaires in Singapore, up from 26 a year ago.

Singapore's status as a regional medical hub has propelled Dr Loo Choon Yong of Raffles Medical Group into the billionaire ranks.

Another new entrant is mining veteran Robert Friedland, who holds dual American and Canadian citizenship but lives in Singapore. He is ranked 30th with an estimated US$845 million while Mr Shaw Vee Meng, the son of the late Hong Kong movie tycoon Run Run Shaw, is at No. 31 on US$835 million.

  • TOP 10 RICHEST IN S'PORE
  • ROBERT AND PHILIP NG

    US$8.7 billion (S$11.9 billion)

  • KWEK LENG BENG

    US$7.2 billion

  • GOH CHENG LIANG

    US$6.9 billion

  • KHOO FAMILY

    US$6.4 billion

  • WEE CHO YAW

    US$5.5 billion

  • EDUARDO SAVERIN

    US$5.4 billion

  • KWEE BROTHERS

    US$5.2 billion

  • RICHARD CHANDLER

    US$2.6 billion

  • KUOK KHOON HONG

    US$2.6 billion

  • RAJ KUMAR AND KISHIN RK

    US$2.4 billion

The minimum net worth to make the list this year was US$420 million.

Despite a significant drop in net wealth, property magnates Robert and Philip Ng are still Singapore's richest men, holding the top spot for six years in a row. They have a net wealth of US$8.7 billion.

The slowdown in the property sector in Singapore and Hong Kong has resulted in sharp drops in revenues at their Far East Organisation and Sino Group in recent years.

Their US$4.1 billion drop in net wealth is partly a result of Forbes over-counting their businesses' revenues last year, said the magazine.

The other real estate billionaires on the list, including Mr Kwek Leng Beng, the Khoo family and the Kwee brothers, also saw their wealth decline, partly due to a depreciating Singdollar against the greenback.

Paint magnate Goh Cheng Liang bucked the trend, leaping to third spot after his shares in Japan's Nippon Paint jumped 62 per cent.

Retailer Lim Hock Chee (36th, US$635 million) also saw wealth gains despite a slowing economy, thanks to his supermarket chain Sheng Siong opening new stores.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 27, 2015, with the headline 'More billionaires, but wealth shrinks'. Print Edition | Subscribe