Singapore Has Now Record Number of Billionaires
Singapore now has a record number of billionaires, up from 16 a year ago to 21, according to the latest Forbes Singapore rich list. The combined net wealth of Singapore's 50 richest is US$80 billion.
The full list can be found at www.forbes.com/singapore and in the latest issue of Forbes Asia. (Figures in US dollars)
Property magnates Robert and Philip Ng added $1.4 billion to their wealth to hold on to the No. 1 spot as the country's richest. Their net wealth is $10.6 billion, up from $9.2 billion last year. The brothers oversee Far East Organization which their late father Ng Teng Fong developed into a conglomerate with more than 700 hotels, malls and condominiums in Singapore and Hong Kong. The biggest rise in net wealth this year is that of Kwek Leng Beng, Chairman of City Developments, Singapore's second largest property developer, who jumped to the second spot from No. 6 with a net worth of $7.1 billion, up from $2.4 billion. The big boost was due to the inclusion of a broader group of assets and some more shares of family. His fortune includes the interests of siblings and cousins Kwek Leng Peck and Kwek Leng Kee.
Despite these highs, there are signs that things are cooling in the Singapore property market, as recent rounds of curbs by the government to prevent a property bubble have dampened sentiment though not as yet real estate prices. Not resting on his riches, Kwek Leng Beng is stepping up investments in China and London. Other outward-looking property tycoons include the Kwee brothers, who are richer by $1.2 billion this year. They are negotiating to invest $300 million in a Manhattan luxury condo. And veteran investor, Peter Lim, No. 10 on the list with $2.05 billion, is looking to invest in Malaysia's Iskandar region.
The Khoo family is now at No. 3 with a net worth of $6.7 billion, the same as last year. The heirs of late banker Khoo Teck Puat sold the biggest chunk of their inheritance, a stake in Standard Chartered Bank, in 2006 for $4 billion. …