3 Singaporeans on Forbes list of Asia's power businesswomen

 From left: Ms Ho Ching, Ms Chew Gek Khim and Ms May Ng.
From left: Ms Ho Ching, Ms Chew Gek Khim and Ms May Ng.PHOTOS: ST FILE, THE BUSINESS TIMES FILE

Three Singaporeans are on this year's list of the 50 most powerful businesswomen in Asia.

The Forbes magazine yesterday recognised Straits Trading's Ms Chew Gek Khim, Temasek Holdings' Ms Ho Ching and Ms May Ng, chief executive of Pan-United, among female entrepreneurs and executives who are shaking up things across diverse industries.

Ms Chew is the granddaughter of the late banker Tan Chin Tuan and helms mining and smelting firm Straits Trading.

Ms Ho has headed Singapore investment firm Temasek Holdings as it diversified into a global investment powerhouse over the past decade.

Ms Ng of family conglomerate Pan-United oversees the largest cement and ready-mixed concrete company in the region.

China and Hong Kong dominated the list with 14 women, followed by India with eight, Thailand with five and Japan with four. Australia, Indonesia and Vietnam each have three. South Korea and the Philippines each have two. Macau, Taiwan and New Zealand have one each.

Perhaps the most high-profile debut was that of Mrs Nita Ambani, for her rising profile in the Reliance empire run by her husband Mukesh Ambani, India's richest man.

She is instrumental in the marketing and branding strategy of Reliance's push into mobile services, Forbes said. Her fellow Indians, ICICI bank chief Chanda Kochar and Biocon founder and chairman Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, featured again this year.

A core group of this year's winners include women from China's manufacturing sector despite a slowdown in the Asian powerhouse, while a quarter of the 27 new candidates come from the tech world. Among them is Ms Jane Yan who founded Venustech, an Internet security company that claims 80 per cent of China's government and military business. Alibaba co-founder Lucy Peng solidified her position as one of the tech industry's most powerful executives, with two multibillion-dollar companies under her belt.

Familiar names that have dropped off include Ms Zhang Xin of China's Soho property company. Singtel Group CEO Chua Sock Koong and KOP Group founder Ong Chih Ching also fell off the list.

The magazine acknowledged the inroads women are making in the business world, but gender inequality persists.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 08, 2016, with the headline '3 S'poreans on Forbes list of Asia's power businesswomen'. Print Edition | Subscribe