Philippines sees 17 tycoons on Forbes' global billionaire list; their wealth grew despite pandemic

Manuel “Manny” B. Villar Jr.

MANILA, Philippines, April 7 (The Philippine Inquirer/ANN) – Seventeen tycoons from the Philippines – led for the third straight year by “brown taipan” Manuel “Manny” B. Villar – made it to Forbes magazine’s 2021 list of wealthiest people on the planet.

Forbes, which has been counting persons with net worth of at least $1 billion for the last 35 years, announced a record-breaking roster of 2,755 billionaires, including 493 newcomers.

This was seen as unprecedented by any measure, especially in a period when the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to wreak havoc on the global economy.

Altogether, these billionaires are worth $13.1 trillion, up from $8 trillion on the 2020 list.

Still at the top of the heap is outgoing Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who has an estimated net worth of $177 billion while Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk pole-vaulted into the number two spot with an estimated wealth of $151 billion, up from No. 31 last year.

Bernard Arnault of LVMH, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg rounded up the magic five.

“It was also the first time that the combined net worth of the world’s billionaires crossed into double-digit trillions.

“The pace at which huge fortunes have been created is astonishing, ” said Kerry Dolan, Assistant Managing Editor at Forbes’ Wealth.

In the Philippines, most of the tycoons were able to grow their net worth despite the prolonged pandemic.

The magazine estimated Villar’s net worth at $7.2 billion, making him the 352nd richest person in the world. His wealth grew from last year’s $5.7 billion.

Villar’s fortune comes from mass housing developer Golden Bria Holdings Inc., a former memorial park developer which is now into mass housing, property developer Vista Land & Lifescape and retail arm AllHome.

This is the complete list of billionaires from the Philippines in Forbes’ Billionaires list and their estimated wealth:

  1. Manuel Villar, $7.2 billion
  2. Enrique Razón Jr., $5 billion
  3. Lucio Tan, $3.3 billion
  4. Hans Sy, $3 billion
  5. Herbert Sy, $3 billion
  6. Andrew Tan, $3 billion
  7. Harley Sy, $2.7 billion
  8. Henry Sy Jr., $2.7 billion
  9. Teresita Sy-Coson, $2.7 billion
  10. Elizabeth Sy, $2.4 billion
  11. Tony Tan Caktiong, $2.4 billion
  12. Ramon Ang, $2.2 billion
  13. Inigo Zobel, $1.4 billion
  14. Lance Gokongwei, $1.2 billion
  15. Roberto Ongpin, $1.2 billion
  16. Ricardo Po Sr., $1.1 billion
  17. Edgar Sia II, $1.1 billion
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