11 Filipinos on Forbes 2016 world’s billionaires list

By June 29, 2016News

Henry Sy ranked 71st on the Forbes 2016 world’s billionaires’ list. Ten other Filipinos also join him among the world’s richest.

The top 5 billionaires in the country, as identified by Forbes, are all familiar names and they are only reshuffling within the top 10 ranking of Forbes’ The Philippines richest list as of 2015.

Sy holds the top spot for eight consecutive years.

Henry Sy

The list, released by the business publication on Tuesday, March 1 (Wednesday morning, March 2 Manila time) showed that Sy, 91 and family’s net worth is at $12.9 billion, thus climbing to 71st world’s richest, two notches up from his 2015 ranking. He remains as the no. 1 billionaire in the country, with Sy’s SM Investments Corporation (SMIC) remaining the largest retailer in the country.

SMIC just announced this month that it is merging all its retail-related units under SM Retail. SMIC also has interests in real estate, shopping malls, and banking, and has a stake in privately-held National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP). The SM empire started as a footwear shop.

John Gokongwei Jr.

With a net worth of $5 billion, Gokongwei, 88, slid from no. 254 to this year’s 270th world’s richest. The second billionaire in the country, Gokongwei’s JG Summit started as a cornstarch plant and has now diversified interests in airlines, banking, beverages, hotels, power generation, property development, and telecommunications.

The conglomerate also has publicly listed Robinson Retail Holdings and franchises True Value, Top Shop, Toys R Us, Daiso. The conglomerate also has Summit Media (the licensee for Forbes and Entrepreneur in the country, among other major titles).

Lucio Tan

Tan, 81, slid from 369th in 2015 to world’s 380th richest this year. With a net worth of $4 billion, the third richest in the country (through his LT Group) has interests in banking, beverages, property development, spirits, and tobacco.

Tan regained 100% of flag carrier Philippine Airlines in 2014. A billionaire who mopped floors to pay for school, Tan started in business as a chemical engineer and enjoys flying helicopters.

George Ty

Ty, 83 has a 2016 net worth of $3.7 billion, but fell from 369th ranking in 2015 to this year’s 421st.

It was said that a bank’s refusal to provide him a loan prompted Ty, then 19 to start his own bank at 29. Starting Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company (Metrobank) with no financial training or experience, the bank today is the second largest, assets wise.

Ty, the country’s fourth richest, eventually got into power plants, Toyota vehicles, insurance, real estate, among other ventures, and his group is now eyeing to expand into business process outsourcing, infrastructure, and retail.

David Consunji

The country’s 5th richest, Consunji’s ranking fell hardest from 405th in 2015 to this year’s 569th with a net worth of $3 billion.

Consunji, 94, founded construction firm DMCI in 1954, and now has its most income from real estate, power generation, and infrastructure. A former concrete inspector, Consunji also has stakes in Semirara Mining, the country’s largest coal miner.

Andrew Tan

Tan, 63 also has a net worth of $3 billion to date though his ranking dropped from 330th in 2015 to 2016’s 569th, same with Consunji’s ranking. His Megaworld is known for building large apartment complexes in and around Metro Manila, and planning to accelerate office and retail projects this year.

His Alliance Global also has interests in food and beverage, gaming, and real estate, plus he owns the Philippines’ McDonald’s franchise. In November 2015, his Emperador agreed to buy Beam Suntory’s brandy business for $297 million. He is the fifth richest in the Philippines now.

Tony Tan Caktiong

Tan Caktiong, the 5th richest in the country showed gains this year, climbing high from 690th in 2015 to this year’s 569th billionaire in the world.

At 63 and with a net worth of $3 billion, his Jollibee fast food group (with Jollibee as the flagship brand) is really going global, even buying a 40% stake in US-food chain Smashburger in October 2015. He is now also venturing actively in real estate, “with fellow rich lister Edgar Sia II,” Forbes noted.

Enrique Razon Jr

Razon’s ranking dropped 431 notches from 291st in 2015 to be the world’s 722nd billionaire to date.

With a net worth of $2.4 billion, Razon, 55, is the 8th richest in the country who chairs and runs the largest port operator, International Container Terminal Services (ICTSI). It is now a global giant with presence in Eastern Europe, Africa, and the Americas. His hospitality firm, Bloomberry Resorts Co., includes the Solaire Casino and Resort in the Philippines.

Lucio and Susan Co

The husband and wife tandem of Co ranked 1121st (from 810th in 2015), netting $1.6 billion.

The 9th richest in the country, Cos started Puregold in 1998 and ended 2015 with 274 stores, thus becoming the second largest retailer in the country, after Sy’s SM Group. The Cos also have a money transfer company, retail pharmaceuticals, office supplies, gaming, hotels, wine distribution, and property development.

And in September 2015, “the Philippines’ Supreme Court cleared the company of liability in a $58 million tax case involving alcohol and tobacco imports,” Forbes noted.

Robert Coyiuto Jr

No. 9 richest in the Philippines, Coyiuto’s world ranking went down from 1054th in 2015 to 2016’s 1121st.

He chairs Prudential Guarantee & Assurance insurance firm, and also holds a 30% stake in NGCP. He also chairs and owns PGA Cars, an auto distributor of Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini, and Porsche. Coyiuto also established the first Porsche training facility outside of Germany, allowing underprivileged Filipinos to become elite technical specialists for the luxury vehicle brand. Coyiuto, 63, has a net worth of $1.6 billion.

Manny Villar

The former senate president is the world’s 1367th billionaire (from 1190th in 2015).

The 11th richest in the country, Villar, 66th, has a net worth of $1.3 billion. He has stakes in Starmalls, a David competing among the Goliaths SM and Robinsons malls in the country. His family is also into real estate through Vista Land & Lifescapes. Of humble origins, Villar used to sell seafood in the market with his mother—his life’s narrative as highlighted in his 2010 presidential bid.


The Forbes billionaires list is a snapshot of wealth taken on February 12, using stock prices and exchange rates from that day. “Some fortunes could have changed considerably since then,” Forbes noted.

And for 3 years in a row, and topping the list 17 times out of 22 years is Bill Gates with a net worth of $75 billion, though he got $4.2 billion poorer than a year ago, Forbes noted.

The list of the world’s richest went down from 1,826 in 2015 to 1,810 this year. Forbes cited “volatile stock markets, cratering oil prices, and a stronger dollar led to a dynamic reshuffling of wealth around the globe and a drop in 10-figure fortunes for the first time since 2009.”

“Of those who were billionaires both years, 892 are poorer while 501 added to their fortunes,” Forbes added.

Geographically, US has 540 billionaires; mainland China with 251 (Hong Kong has another 69); and Germany with 120. Russia has 77, 10-figure fortunes while Brazil is down 23 to 31, Forbes noted.