Sy family, Villar remain PH’s richest

A ranking in Forbes Asia magazine’s August issue showed the Sy siblings remaining the richest family in the Philippines while Manuel B. Villar Jr. is still the country’s wealthiest individual.

For this year, Forbes Asia noted that the combined wealth of tycoons on the list of Philippines’ 50 richest fell to $72 billion from $79 billion last year, amid the country’s recovery from pandemic headwinds. More than two-thirds saw their wealth shrink.

While the Philippine economy grew 8.3 percent in the first quarter and 7.4 percent in the second quarter of 2022, the pressures of inflation, rising commodity and energy prices as well as reduced exports to China dragged the benchmark stock index down 6 percent from 11 months ago when fortunes were last measured.

The Philippine peso also plunged 12 percent over the same period.

The top 10 richest in the Philippines are:

1. Sy siblings; $12.6 billion

2. Manuel B. Villar Jr.; $7.8 billion

3. Enrique Razon Jr.; $5.6 billion

4. Lance Gokongwei and siblings; $3.1 billion

5. Aboitiz family; $2.9 billion

6. Isidro Consunji and siblings; $2.65 billion

7. Tony Tan Caktiong; $2.6 billion

8. Jaime Zobel de Ayala; $2.55 billion

9. Ramon Ang; $2.45 billion

10. Andrew Tan; $2.4 billion

“The Sy siblings, heirs to the group built by the late Henry Sy Sr., retain the top spot but their net worth fell by $4 billion to $12.6 billion, the biggest drop in dollar terms. Shares in the family’s flagship, SM Investments, fell 19 percent from last year as investors turned skittish,” said Forbes.

Meanwhile, Villar overcame the odds, listing his VistaREIT in June and is this year’s biggest dollar gainer, adding $1.1 billion and remains at No. 2 with a fortune of $7.8 billion.

Rounding out the top 3 is ports tycoon Enrique Razon Jr., though his net worth is down slightly to $5.6 billion. At No. 4 are Lance Gokongwei and siblings, who saw their net worth fall to $3.1 billion from $4 billion last year.

Among the two returnees this year is the Aboitiz family, appearing at No. 5 with a collective fortune of $2.9 billion, which includes holdings of the broader family. Shares in their flagship Aboitiz Equity Ventures got a boost from its power interests amid rising energy prices.

Meanwhile, record first-quarter earnings of $200 million at engineering conglomerate DMCI Holdings lifted the fortune of Isidro Consunji and siblings by 47 percent to $2.65 billion. They notched up the biggest percentage rise this year and moved up seven spots to No. 6.

On the other hand, husband and wife Dennis Anthony and Maria Grace Uy (No. 13), who are cofounders of Converge ICT Solutions, saw their wealth fall by just over $1 billion to $1.75 billion as the price of Converge shares slid after Warbug Pincus said it was selling a chunk of its holding.

Two new entrants replaced their late family members. Among them is the Po family (No. 16, $1.2 billion), who inherited the food empire of Ricardo Po Sr. after his death last October.

Sylvia C. Wenceslao took over as chairman of real estate developer D.M. Wenceslao & Associates and is at No. 39 with $340 million, following her husband Delfin J. Wenceslao Jr.’s death last September.

The minimum net worth to make the Philippines’ richest list was $185 million, down from $200 million last year.

The list was compiled using shareholding and financial information obtained from the families and individuals, stock exchanges, analysts and other sources.

Unlike Forbes’ Billionaires rankings, this list includes family fortunes, including those shared among extended families.

Net worths are based on stock prices and exchange rates as of the close of markets on July 22, 2022. Private companies were valued based on similar companies that are publicly traded.

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