SINGAPORE: The very rich in Singapore have grown wealthier, according to the 2018 Forbes Singapore Rich List.
The combined wealth of the country's top 50 tycoons rose 11 per cent to nearly US$116 billion (S$157 billion) up from $104.6 billion last year, Forbes Asia said in a news release on Thursday (Jul 26).
READ: Last year's Forbes Singapore Rich List
This year’s biggest dollar gainers were property siblings Robert and Philip Ng and Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, who is a Singapore permanent resident.
The Ngs, who retained their number one spot for the ninth year with US$11.9 billion, boosted their net worth by US$2.5 billion, while the Facebook co-founder - who also saw his fortune up $2.5 billion - came in a close second with a net worth of US$11.8 billion.
The Ngs' Far East-led consortium "scored a victory" in May by clinching a prized mixed-use site in the popular Holland Road precinct with a US$904 million bid, beating out more than a dozen other aspirants, said Forbes Asia.
Meanwhile shares of Facebook, in which Saverin holds a minority stake, rose 30 per cent from a year ago on a jump in ad revenues.
Retaining the third spot was paint tycoon Goh Cheng Liang, who has a 39 per cent stake in Japan’s Nippon Paint Holdings. His net worth increased by US$700 million to US$8.5 billion. His son Goh Hup Jin was named chairman of Nippon Paint in March.
New Zealander and Singapore permanent resident Richard Chandler was another billion-dollar gainer, jumping four places to regain a spot in the top 10.
His net worth rose to US$3.15 billion, putting him at number eight, after his Singapore-headquartered Clermont Group’s net assets surged 50 per cent on undisclosed investment gains, according to official filings.
Co-founder of ARA Asset Management John Lim was another notable gainer. Lim, who owns close to one third of ARA, saw his fortune jump by more than a third, putting him at number 38 on the list with a net worth of US$780 million.
Three newcomers made it onto this year's list: China-born Singapore permanent resident Gordon Tang, who has a controlling stake in listed property firm SingHaiyi Group, made it to number 32 with a net worth of US$1 billion.
Bangladesh-born Singapore permanent resident and chairman of Summit Group Muhammed Aziz Khan, who plans to list his Summit Power International on the Singapore exchange, came in at number 34 with a net worth of US$910 million.
Forrest Li, who listed his online gaming firm Sea on the New York Stock Exchange in October 2017, placed at number 42 with US$738 million.
The minimum amount required to make the list was US$535 million, down from US$540 million last year.
The top 10 richest in Singapore:
1. Robert & Philip Ng; US$11.9 billion
2. Eduardo Saverin; US$11.8 billion
3. Goh Cheng Liang; US$8.5 billion
4. Kwek Leng Beng; US$7.6 billion
5. Khoo family; US$6.7 billion
6. Wee Cho Yaw; US$6.4 billion
7. Kwee brothers; US$5.4 billion
8. Richard Chandler; US$3.15 billion
9. Raj Kumar & Kishin RK; US$2.7 billion
10. Choo Chong Ngen; US$2.6 billion
The full list can be found at www.forbes.com/singapore.