The Philippines’ 40 Richest
Posted on Aug 03 2011 by admin

This is a re-posted special report published by Forbes Magazine.

The Philippines' richest are collectively worth $22.8 billion, up an impressive 39% from last year's $16.4 billion.

The Philippines is back on track. The country's economy grew by 7.3% in the first quarter of the year, its fastest pace since 2007. Consumer spending and foreign remittances, which fuel the economy, continue to rise. Benigno Aquino III's election as president hasn't disturbed the market.

The stock exchange's composite index is up 17% since last year but still off 14% from its 2007 high. The country's richest have performed even better. They're collectively worth $22.8 billion, up an impressive 39% from last year's $16.4 billion.

Thirty-three tycoons are richer, including every one of the Philippines' top 10. Henry Sy is once again the country's wealthiest person and the year's biggest gainer. His net worth is $5 billion, up from $3.8 billion in 2009, mostly due to the 28% rise in the stock of his main holding company, SM Investments.

Five tycoons more than doubled their fortunes, including David Consunji, whose construction firm, DMCI, continues to outperform the market; it's up 112% since last year on top of a similar gain the year before. Enrique Aboitiz and nephew Jon Ramon Aboitiz nearly tripled their fortunes this year. Most of their wealth comes from stakes in publicly listed investment company Aboitiz Equity Ventures, which is up 177% since last year.

JG Summit Chairman John Gokongwei is the country's newest billionaire, and Alliance Global Chairman Andrew Tan returned to the billionaire ranks after a two-year hiatus, both because of the stellar performance of their listed conglomerates. All five billionaires on the list are reaping the rewards of diversification. Each has grown steadily wealthier by getting their hands into everything from property development to telecom to power.

Two newcomers joined the ranks of the richest this year: Wilfredo Keng, whose mining company Century Peak Metals listed recently, and former trade minister Roberto Ongpin, who has interests in mining, telecom and real estate, as well as a significant stake in San Miguel Corp. Wilfred Uytengsu Jr. also joins the list this year, taking the place of his father Wilfred Uytengsu Sr., who founded the country's largest dairy, Alaska Milk, and died in April.

Among the four tycoons whose fortunes declined this year is property baron Manuel Villar, whose unsuccessful run for the presidency in the May elections sparked a sell-off in shares of his Vista Land & Lifescapes. They've since begun to rebound, but information that he has a smaller stake than previously estimated reduced his net worth. Media tycoons Menardo Jimenez, Gilberto Duavit and Felipe Gozon took a hit because of a recent fall in their GMA Network shares.

A minimum fortune of $50 million was required to make the list, up from last year's $38 million. By a long shot, it's still the easiest of Forbes Asia's 12 Rich Lists for which to qualify. Two or last year's members failed to make the cut, including husband and wife team Rolando and Rosalinda Hortaleza, who founded personal care products company Splash. Since going public in 2007 Splash's share price has dropped more than 70%.

The list was compiled with information obtained from individuals, stock exchanges, public documents and analysts. For privately held assets, we estimated what they would be worth if public. All public fortunes were calculated using June 23 stock prices and exchange rates. This ranking, unlike our Forbes billionaires list, includes numerous family fortunes shared by individuals and their children, grandchildren and siblings.

Additional reporting by Caroline Chen and Lan Anh Nguyen.
By: Suzanne Nam
Source: Business Mirror, July 7, 2011
To view the original article, click here.

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