TYCOON Manuel B. Villar Jr., chairman of the Villar Group, is still the country’s richest person, according to a list compiled by Forbes magazine.
Villar, who made his fortune in property development, including retail and memorial parks, has a net worth of about $9.7 billion, according to the methodology used by Forbes.
He is followed by the Sy siblings—composed of Teresita, Elizabeth, Henry Jr., Hans, Herbert and Harley—who have a combined worth of $14.4 billion. They inherited their fortunes from their late father, Henry Sy Sr., but most of them are still engaged in the family’s businesses.
Port and gambling magnate Enrique Razon Jr. is ranked third with a net worth of $8.1 billion. Razon is the biggest dollar gainer, thanks to the sustained improvement in supply chains that led International Container Terminal Services Inc.’s shares to jump 24 percent from a year ago, Forbes said.
The top three Filipino billionaires occupied the same positions in the previous year’s edition.
“Although the economy must now deal with inflation and higher interest rates, the country’s benchmark stock index rose 6 percent from a year ago when fortunes were last measured. As a result, the combined wealth of the country’s 50 richest increased to $80 billion from $72 billion last year,” Forbes said.
Ramon S. Ang, president and CEO of San Miguel Corp., is the biggest gainer among the local billionaires. He moved five spots to 4th after his wealth rose by nearly 40 percent to $3.4 billion following the acquisition of his majority-owned Eagle Cement Corp., one of the country’s largest cement makers, by San Miguel Corp.
The wealth of husband and wife Dennis Anthony and Maria Grace Uy, co-founders of Converge ICT Solutions Inc., dropped the most in both dollar and percentage terms. Their net worth almost halved to $930 million as shares in the broadband services provider continued to slide following the exit of private equity firm Warburg Pincus last year.
Dean Lao and his family, who founded chemical manufacturer D&L Industries Inc., are on the 23rd spot, followed by Betty Ang, president of Monde Nissin Corp. at 24th with $695 million, while Henry Soesanto, the company’s CEO, is at 29th with $455 million.
The three new entrants are all inheritors, the magazine said. These are the Gotianun family at number 22 with $850 million. They inherited stakes in conglomerate Filinvest Development from matriarch Mercedes Gotianun, who died last December.
The Yuchengco family, heirs to Alfonso Yuchengco and the biggest shareholder of Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., are on the list at 33rd with $420 million.
Federico Lopez debuts on the list with $300 million, at the 42nd spot. His fortune was shared with his family, after taking over the media, property and power empire from his father Oscar, who died in April at age 93.
Dennis Uy, who is known to have ties with the Duterte administration, is still on the list with $440 million, lower than the previous year’s $810 million.
Tony Tan Caktiong, who founded fastfood giant Jollibee Foods Corp., is at 5th spot, with $3.2 billion.
Other Filipino billionaires in the Forbes list are the Aboitiz family (6th) with $3.15 billion, Lance Gokongwei and siblings (7th) with $3 billion, Isidro Consunji and siblings (8th) with $2.9 billion, Jaime Zobel de Ayala and family (9th) with $2.8 billion and Lucio Tan (10th) with $2.6 billion.