50 richest Singapore tycoons got 11% richer: Forbes

(From left) Robert Ng, Philip Ng, and Eduardo Saverin topped the Forbes Singapore Rich List 2017.
(From left) Robert Ng, Philip Ng, and Eduardo Saverin topped the Forbes Singapore Rich List 2017. PHOTOS: BLOOMBERG, ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The newly released Forbes Singapore Rich List 2017 shows that close to two-thirds of the country's 50 richest people enjoyed a growth in their wealth. 

The total net worth of the top 50 tycoons on the list rose to US$104.6 billion (S$141.9 billion), an 11 per cent increase from last year.

This was despite a sluggish economy, Forbes Asia said in a statement on Thursday (July 27).

Maintaining the top spot - for eight consecutive years - were siblings Robert and Philip Ng, whose combined net worth was calculated at US$9.4 billion.

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The brothers, who are behind Singapore's biggest real-estate developer Far East Organization, had a net worth of US$8.6 billion last year.

Coming in at second was Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, who moved up one spot from last year.

Mr Saverin, who has a net worth of US$9.3 billion according to Forbes' latest list, relocated to Singapore in 2009, where he has been investing in several local start-ups.

He holds a minority stake in Facebook and the social media giant's shares jumped by close to a third in the past year, adding US$2.1 billion to his wealth.

Mr Saverin married Singapore-based Indonesian Chinese Elaine Andriejanssen in 2015.

Making it to the list for the first time are two newcomers: Hedge fund star Danny Yong, ranked 42 with US$670 millon in wealth, who teamed up with a college friend to start Dymon Asia Capital in 2008; and Saurabh Mittal, ranked 44 with US$650 million, the co-founder of Indian real estate and financial services group Indiabulls.

Mr Yong's flagship Dymon Asia Macro Fund has been a top performer and earned him a spot in Forbes' 25 Highest-Earning Hedge Fund Managers in 2015 and 2017.

Mr Mittal relocated to Singapore three years ago and holds stakes in several ventures - including mixed-martial arts company ONE Championship and California data analytics firm Incedo - through his private investment firm Mission Holdings.

A fifth of those returning to the list saw a decline in  their fortunes.

Five such tycoons have their wealth tied to real estate. The sector has yet to see an uptick, Forbes said, although some of the biggest property names have cornered prized enclaves in Singapore.

The minimum amount required to make the list this year was US$540 million, an US$85-million increase from the US$455 million required last year.

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

Net worth is based on stock prices and exchange rates as of the close of markets on July 14.

Here are the top 10 richest in Singapore this year:

1. Robert & Philip Ng: US$9.4 billion

2. Eduardo Saverin: US$9.3 billion

3. Goh Cheng Liang: US$7.8 billion

4. Kwek Leng Beng: US$7.1 billion

5. Khoo family: US$6.3 billion

6. Wee Cho Yaw: US$5.8 billion

7. Kwee family: US$5.3 billion

8. Kuok Khoon Hong: US$2.7 billion

9. Raj Kumar & Kishin RK: US$2.6 billion

10. Sam Goi: US$2.2 billion