Amidst the world’s fluctuating economies, Singapore, although literally one of the smallest nations in the world, has managed to increase its economic growth and is even considered as one of the world’s economic leaders in Southeast Asia today. Being one of Asia’s primary gateways to the world and one of the most sought after countries by foreign investors, Singapore’s booming economy was already expected. With the odds working in Singapore’s favor, it could only mean more opportunities and success for most of its people. With its economic brilliance, it does not come as a surprise that Singapore is home to the wealthiest and most powerful people in the world.
Forbes has recently released a list of Singapore’s top 40 richest people. To narrow things down, we have taken Forbes’ list and compiled a list of the top 10 richest people in Singapore.
10. Ong Beng Seng & Christina Ong ($1.6 billion)
The Malaysian couple currently residing in Singapore has had their wealth through diversified assets. Their biggest investment is their share in Mulberry, a well-known British handbag producer. Other assets of the couple include Hotel Properties Ltd, fashion retailer Club 21 as well as NSL, an industrial company that runs OBS. Meanwhile, Christina founded and operates the COMO Group, which includes the COMO Hotels and Resorts. The couple also has their eyes on the Singapore Grand Prix and have stakes in Kuo International, an oil trading company ran by Peter Fu Chong Cheng, which is Christina’s brother. She is also Chairman to the National Parks Board and is one of the board members of Singapore Airlines.
9. Peter Lim ($2 billion)
After leaving Wilmar International, Peter Lim has been making himself busy. He recently partnered with UEM Land Holdings to create Motorsport City, a motor racing complex in the Johor Iskandar region worth $1.2 billion. Thomson Medical, one of Lim’s companies, is said to be going into a partnership with Johor’s royal family. They are set to build a medical hub as part of the $3 million Vantage Bay developed by Rowsley, another company that Lim handles. He also has stakes in Yanlord Land, a Chinese property developer, FJ Benjamin, and McLaren
8. Eduardo Saverin ($2.2 billion)
This 31 year-old Brazilian now residing in Singapore is known for his stint as co-founder of the world’s leading social networking site, Facebook. He provided the company’s startup capital, earning him 1/3 of the company. His stakes decreased to 30% when Dustin Moskovitz joined the company. Saverin had to deal with a lawsuit from Facebook for allegedly interfering with company business and for insisting to keep his 30% share of the company. He countersued and managed to keep his 5% stake and was acknowledged as co-founder of the company by including his bio on the site. He has then started companies such as Qwiki and Jumio, which gave birth to the online payment company, Netswipe.
7. Kwek Leng Beng & Family ($2.4 billion)
Kwek Leng Beng, as well as cousins Kwek Leng Peck and Kwek Leng Kee, moves to a higher spot from last year’s rank, as they are now listed as one entity. They now handle the conglomerate, Hong Leong, which was started by their fathers a few decades ago. They now control city developments which costs about $1.2 billion.
6. Kuok Khoon ong ($2.6 billion)
Kuok Khoon Hong is the CEO and minority stakeholder of Wilmar International, the world’s leading Palm Oil Company. Joint ventures with Swiss company Clariant, as well as processed foods company Archer Daniels are to be pursued by Wilmar. He has assets in Yanlord Yan as well as London’s Aviva Tower, which he co-owns with Martua Sitorus, an Indonesian billionaire and his fellow shareholder at Wilmar. They have both made investments in property developments surrounding China’s high-speed railways.
5. Richard Chandler ($2.85 billion)
Richard Chandler, a New Zealand native now residing in Singapore, owns and runs Richard Chandler Corp. He had a 13% stake in the Union Bank of Nigeria worth $112 million. He also had a 15%, $74 million share with WesternZagros, an oil and gas company in Iraq. In addition, he had a stake with Sino-Forest, which was deemed controversial for filing bankruptcy protection last year.
4. Kwee Brothers ($4.6 billion)
The Kwee brothers are among Singapore’s wealthiest families. They own the property developer and hotel operator, Pontiac Land. Among the hotels they operate are the Ritz-Carlton, Regent, Conrad Centennial, and the Capella in Singapore. They own a 50% stake at a recent project called the Capitol Center, a $600 million worth luxury property development. Kwee Liong Keng is the Managing Director, Kwee Liong Tek is the Chairman, while Kwee Liong Seen and Kwee Liong Phing are members of the board.
3. Wee Cho Yaw ($5 billion)
Wee Cho Yaw chairs the United Overseas Bank. His father founded the company and was run by Wee Cho Yaw for 33 years. In 2007, his son Wee Ee Cheong took the Chief Executive spot. Another company owned by his family, the Kheng Leong, opened a Shanghai office in the previous year. Meanwhile, a condo they co-developed in Singapore sold out its 255 units in just 4 hours in December.
2. Khoo Family ($6.7 billion)
1. Ng Robert and Philip ($10.1 billion)
Sons to the late Ng Teng Fong who developed more than 700 malls, hotels and condos, they top this year’s list of Singapore’s richest. Their family owns the Far East Organization which was said to have built 1 out of 6 homes in Singapore. Last year, they listed the largest portfolio of serviced residences, Far East Hospitality Trust on the Singapore Stock Exchange. Their largest property is located in Hong Kong, the Tsim Sha Tsui Properties, in which Robert is the Chairman. Philip, the younger brother, handles their properties based in Singapore.
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