Led by Henry Sy Sr., John Gokongwei Jr. and Lucio Tan, a record number of Filipinos -- 14 in all -- made it to the 2017 Forbes World's Billionaires List, according to a new ranking released by the US business magazine Monday evening. That is the highest number of Filipinos in the global wealth list.
They form part of the record 2,043 billionaires in Forbes 31st annual ranking of the world's billionaires as featured in the March 28, 2017 issue of the magazine. “Booming stock markets, higher commodities prices and plain old-fashioned entrepreneurship helped make this a record year in terms of wealth creation around the globe,” said Luisa Kroll and Kerry Dolan, Assistant Managing Editors of Wealth at Forbes Media in a statement.
There were 11 Filipinos on the list last year, 10 of whom are still part of the list this year. The only Philippine tycoon who didn't return to the list is Puregold group chairman Lucio Co and his wife Susan.
The combined net worth of the 14 Filipino billionaires is $45.8 billion, which is higher than the aggregate fortune of $41.5 billion of the 11 Filipinos in the list last year. On average, the net worth of each billionaire on the list fell from $3.8 billlion to $3.3 billion, the lowest since 2013.
Of the 10 Filipino billionaires who returned to the list this year, five saw their net worth rise while five others saw their fortunes decline. The biggest gainer is ports and casino tycoon Enrique Razon Jr., whose net worth rose $1 billion to $3.4 billion. The biggest loser is property developer Andrew Tan whose net worth fell $500 million to $2.5 billion.
There are four new names who weren't on the list last year: Eduardo Cojuangco Jr., Roberto Ongpin, Ramon Ang and Edgar "Injap" Sia II. Cojuangco and Ongpin were on the list in the past years but Ang and Sia made it to the list for the first time.
The following is the complete list of Filipinos in the 2017 Forbes World's Billionaires List:
Name Global Rank Net worth
Henry Sy 94 $12.7 billion
John Gokongwei Jr. 250 $5.8 billion
Lucio Tan 501 $3.7 billion
George Ty 544 $3.5 billion
Enrique Razon Jr. 564 $3.4 billion
Tony Tan Caktiong 564 $3.4 billion
David Consunji 630 $3.1 billion
Andrew Tan 814 $2.5 billion
Robert Coyiuto Jr. 1376 $1.5 billion
Manuel Villar 1376 $1.5 billion
Ramon Ang 1468 $1.4 billion
Eduardo Cojuangco 1678 $1.2 billion
Roberto Ongpin 1795 $1.1 billion
Edgar Sia II 1940 $1.0 billion
Globally, Bill Gates remains in the top spot for the fourth year in a row and has been the richest person in the world for 18 out of the past 23 years, according to Forbes. Warren Buffett reclaimed the No. 2 slot. In third place is Amazon’s Jeff Bezos who is included for the first time in the top three. Spanish clothing retailer Amancio Ortega of the Zara fashion group dropped to No. 4 while Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is No. 5.
Lorenzo Kyle Subido is a staff writer of Entrepreneur PH