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Forbes’ 50 richest in S’pore: Tycoons’ combined wealth rises 8%, Eduardo Saverin tops list

SINGAPORE – Despite a slowing economy, Singapore’s tycoons have managed to stay on top, with their collective wealth rising by 8 per cent to US$177 billion (S$241.6 billion), from US$164 billion in 2022.

But Forbes’ 2023 list of Singapore’s 50 richest showed that their fortunes have yet to catch up with that of 2021, when their net worth was US$208 billion.

Among the changes at the top of the list released on Thursday was a new No. 1 – Mr Eduardo Saverin, co-founder of Meta Platforms, formerly Facebook, with a net worth of US$16 billion (S$21.8 billion).

The Brazilian native added US$6.4 billion, as shares of Meta have risen nearly 70 per cent since the fortunes were last measured. He was No. 4 on the list in 2022.

Keeping their second spot are brothers Robert and Philip Ng of Far East Organization, with US$14.8 billion, down slightly from US$15.2 billion in 2022.

Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics chairman Li Xiting slipped to third after two years in the top spot.

He was the richest Singaporean on the Forbes 2023 World’s Billionaires List, which in April reported a rise in the number of billionaires here to 35, from 26 in 2022.

Mr Li’s drop comes as healthcare stocks have taken a hit amid China’s anti-corruption drive against the pharmaceutical sector. His net worth fell to US$14 billion, from US$15.6 billion in 2022.

Holding the fourth spot is Mr Goh Cheng Liang, who controls Japan’s Nippon Paint Holdings. His net worth dropped slightly to US$12.3 billion, from US$13 billion in 2022. He was listed in April on the global list as Singapore’s second-richest person.

Rounding out the top five is Hong Leong Group executive chairman Kwek Leng Beng, who retained the spot with his fortune rising 18 per cent to US$11 billion, from 2022’s US$9.3 billion.

Three from 2022’s list dropped off, including Mr David Chen, a co-founder of e-commerce and gaming company Sea, which saw its shares tank after its second-quarter results.

Another high-profile omission is Mr Cheng Wai Keung, deputy chairman of Singapore’s investment company Temasek and the chairman and managing director of property firm Wing Tai Holdings.

Nanofilm Technologies International founder Shi Xu also dropped out of the 2023 list after coming in last on 2022’s list.

Of the three newcomers on the list, Mr Lim Kaling, founding investor and non-executive director at gaming hardware maker Razer, entered at the 48th spot with a net worth of US$875 million. He joined company founder Tan Min-Liang, who ranked 36th with a net worth of US$1.25 billion.

Another newcomer to make the list is Mr Liang Xinjun, the co-founder of Chinese conglomerate Fosun International. He made his debut at the 22nd spot with a net worth of US$2.15 billion.

Rounding out the newcomers is Mr David Li Xueling, co-founder and chairman of Nasdaq-listed Joyy, a live-streaming and social media platform, who joined at No. 47 with US$880 million.

The minimum net worth to make the list was US$750 million in 2023, up from US$705 million in 2022.

The list is a snapshot of wealth using stock prices and currency exchange rates as at the close of markets on Aug 18.

Correction note: An earlier version of this article said Mr Cheng Wai Keung is former chairman and managing director of property firm Wing Tai Holdings. This is incorrect as he still holds the position. We are sorry for the error.

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