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A new generation of tycoons debut on 2019 Forbes Philippines Rich List

The 2019 Forbes Philippines Rich List saw a dramatic reshuffle as five long-time listees passed away since last year’s list and a new class of second- generation successors made their debut, Forbes Asia said Thursday.

The Sy siblings make it to the list for the first time this year, replacing their father Henry Sy Sr., as the new No. 1, a position which the late Sy held for 11 consecutive years. They have a combined net worth of $17.2 billion, stemming largely from the family’s SM group, the country’s largest conglomerate.

The Ty siblings of GT Capital—Arthur, Alfred, Alesandra and Anjanette—enter the list at No. 9 with a combined net worth of $2.6 billion. They succeeded their father George Ty, who built GT into a major conglomerate with interests in autos, banking, insurance, power generation and real estate.

Another new listee and second-generation successors, the Campos siblings—Jocelyn, Joselito and Jeffrey—debut on the list at No. 23, replacing their late family matriarch Beatrice Campos. Their combined net worth of $650 million comes from the country’s pharmaceutical giant Unilab. Jocelyn, the eldest of the three, is now chairman of the company cofounded by their late father Jose Campos.

The Sy, Ty and Campos siblings are among the six newcomers on the list which also included three self-made entrepreneurs.

Among them is logistics and energy tycoon Dennis Uy who made the list after net assets of his Udenna group rose 28% in 2018. Uy is awaiting approval for the backdoor listing of Udenna on the Philippine Stock Exchange. He ranks No. 22 on the list with a net worth of $660 million.

Delfin Wenceslao (No. 25) makes his debut with a net worth of $500 million after taking real estate developer D.M. Wenceslao & Associates public in June 2018. Antonio Lee Tiu, also a first-timer, is ranked No. 49 with a net worth of $135 million as shares of AgriNurture, the agri-products company he founded 22 years ago, rose steadily over the past three years.

Despite the lackluster performance of the Philippine stocks, with the benchmark index rising a mere 2%, 21 listees added to their fortunes. They included Manuel Villar, who remains at No. 2 with a net worth of $6.6 billion, John Gokongwei Jr., who retains his No. 3 spot with $5.3 billion, up from $4.4 billion, and Enrique Razon Jr., who rose one position to No. 4 at $5.1 billion, up from $3.9 billion.

One of the biggest gainers on this year’s list is Mercedes Gotianun (No. 12), whose wealth surged 91% to $2.2 billion as shares in her Filinvest Development soared after posting a 31% leap in net income for 2018.

Revenues for Filinvest’s main property and banking segments rose on higher rental income and fees from lending.

There are five returnees this year including Tomas Alcantara (No. 33, $300 million) of Alsons Consolidated Resources; Eusebio Tanco (No. 41, $205 million) of STI Education Systems; Erramon Aboitiz (No. 43, $165 million) of Aboitiz Equity Ventures; Philip Ang (No. 44, $160 million) of Nickel Asia and Bienvenido Tantoco (No. 48, $140 million) of SSI Group.

Among the 16 listees who saw their fortunes decline is Tony Tan Caktiong (No. 7), whose net worth was down $850 million to $3 billion. Shares at his fast food chain Jollibee took a hit in July 2019 after announcing the $350 million acquisition of loss-making Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

The top 10 richest in the Philippines are:

  • Sy siblings; US$17.2 billion
  • Manuel Villar; $6.6 billion
  • John Gokongwei, Jr.; $5.3 billion
  • Enrique Razon, Jr.; $5.1 billion
  • Jaime Zobel de Ayala; $3.7 billion
  • Lucio Tan; $3.6 billion
  • Tony Tan Caktiong; $3 billion
  • Ramon Ang; $2.8 billion
  • Ty siblings; $2.6 billion
  • Andrew Tan; $2.55 billion

According to Forbes, the list was compiled using information from the individuals, stock exchanges, analysts, private databases, government agencies and other sources.

Net worths were based on stock prices and exchange rates as of the close of markets on September 6. Private companies were valued by using financial ratios and other comparisons with similar publicly traded companies.

Since 2017, the list no longer includes families in which the founder of the business has died, unless the successors are wealthy enough to make the cut off individually; in these cases, inherited fortunes are combined. —VDS, GMA News