Singapore has record number of billionaires

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August 29, 2013

SINGAPORE: Singapore now has a record number of billionaires, up from 16 a year ago to 21, according to the latest Forbes Singapore rich list.

The combined net wealth of Singapore’s 50 richest is US$80 billion.

Property magnates Robert and Philip Ng added $1.4 billion to their wealth to hold on to the No. 1 spot as the country’s richest.

Their net wealth is $10.6 billion, up from $9.2 billion last year.

August 29, 2013

SINGAPORE: Singapore now has a record number of billionaires, up from 16 a year ago to 21, according to the latest Forbes Singapore rich list.

The combined net wealth of Singapore’s 50 richest is US$80 billion.

Property magnates Robert and Philip Ng added $1.4 billion to their wealth to hold on to the No. 1 spot as the country’s richest.

Their net wealth is $10.6 billion, up from $9.2 billion last year.

The brothers oversee Far East Organization which their late father Ng Teng Fong developed into a conglomerate with more than 700 hotels, malls and condominiums in Singapore and Hong Kong.

The biggest rise in net wealth this year is that of Kwek Leng Beng, Chairman of City Developments, Singapore’s second largest property developer, who jumped to the second spot from No. 6 with a net worth of $7.1 billion, up from $2.4 billion.

The big boost was due to the inclusion of a broader group of assets and more family shares.

His fortune includes the interests of siblings and cousins Kwek Leng Peck and Kwek Leng Kee.

Despite these highs, there are signs that things are cooling in the Singapore property market, as recent rounds of curbs by the government to prevent a property bubble have dampened sentiment though not as yet real estate prices.

Not resting on his riches, Kwek Leng Beng is stepping up investments in China and London.

Other outward-looking property tycoons include the Kwee brothers, who are richer by $1.2 billion this year.

They are negotiating to invest $300 million in a Manhattan luxury condo.

And veteran investor Peter Lim, No. 10 on the list with $2.05 billion, is looking to invest in Malaysia’s Iskandar region. The Khoo family is now at No. 3 with a net worth of $6.7 billion, the same as last year.

The heirs of late banker Khoo Teck Puat sold the biggest chunk of their inheritance, a stake in Standard Chartered Bank, in 2006 for $4 billion. They retain ownership of the Goodwood Group of Hotels so named for its 113-year-old flagship property in Singapore, chaired by daughter Mavis Oei.

Singapore’s status as a safe haven for Asian capital remains solid, drawing the likes of Serge Pun (No. 38, $500 million), a Singapore permanent resident whose listed Yoma Strategic Holdings is enjoying a good run on the back of Myanmar’s economic prospects.

He is one of 10 newcomers to the list this year. Others who debuted on the list include

  1. Nippon Paint partner Goh Cheng Liang (No. 9, $2.1 billion),
  2. Ching Chiat Kwong of Oxley Holdings (No. 36, $510 million),
  3. coffee king David Teo of Super Group (No. 37, $505 million),
  4. Loi Kai Meng who chairs CWT (No.39, $470 million),
  5. jeweller Koh Wee Seng (No. 40, $450 million),
  6. Stanley Liao, who cofounded C&P Holdings (No. 41, $440 million),
  7. Cheo Tong Choon, a medical doctor who controls edible oils refiner Mewah International (No. 43, $430 million),
  8. Teo Kok Leong who owns Roxy-Pacific Holdings (No. 47, $360 million) and
  9. Chew Thiam King of marine services firm Ezion Holdings (No. 50, $305 million).

In addition, Ron Sim of OSIM International enters the billionaire ranks for the first time as shares of his massage chair company doubled in the past year. New information on his private assets also added to his wealth such as his stakes in historic buildings in Singapore and property in China.

The minimum net worth to make the list this year was $305 million.


Courtesy: IANS