Pinoy billionaire circle grows this year

Kim Arveen Patria
Kim Arveen Patria
Yahoo! Southeast Asia Newsroom
Filipino tycoon Lucio Tan, pictured the 10th World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention (WCEC) in Manila, in 2009. Tan has won a decades-long legal battle to keep the fortune he built up during the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos, according to his lawyer

Mall tycoon Henry Sy remained the top billionaire in the Philippines, as the number of Pinoy billionaires grew to 11 this year, Forbes magazine's latest list released late Monday showed.

Sy, whose SM chain of malls nationwide and several other investments gave him a net worth of $13.2 billion (P538.6 billion), led the Pinoy billionaires. He ranked 68th in the global list, up from being 116th in 2012.

The local billionaire circle, which had a combined wealth of $37.85 billion (P1.54 trillion), has grown from only six in 2012.

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The 11 Pinoys are part of the elite group of only 1,426 people globally who have a net worth of $1 billion or more and who collectively control $5.4 trillion of the world's wealth.

Next to Sy in the global list is businessman Lucio Tan, with $5 billion (P204 billion), jumping to the 248th spot from being 314th previously.

Port and casino giant Enrique Razon, Jr., meanwhile, became the country's third biggest billionaire with $4.9 billion (P200 billion), rising to the 258th spot from 683rd in 2012.

Razon has overtaken businessman Andrew Tan, who nonetheless improved to ranking 345th from 601st a year ago. Tan's net worth is pegged at $3.95 billion ($164 billion).

Businessman Roberto Ongpin slid to ranking 1175th this year from 1153rd in 2012, even as his net worth grew to $1.5 billion (P61.2 billion) from $1 billion (P40.8 billion).

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But the most of newcomers in the 2013 list edged out Ongpin. Ongpin shared the 1175th spot with real estate magnate Andrew Gotianun and his family.

Other newcomers had higher net worths:
construction giant David Consunji and family, $2.8 billion (P114.3 billion), rank 503;
banking tycoon George Ty and family, $2.6 billion (P106.1 billion), rank 554;
Puregold owners Lucio and Susan Co, $2 billion (P81.5 billion), rank 736;
businessman Roberto Coyiuto, Jr., $1.6 billion (P65.2 billion), rank 931
Jollibee owner Tony Tan Caktiong and family, $1.4 billion (P57.1 billion), rank 1031

Business mogul Eduardo "Danding" Cojuangco, who was among the six Pinoy billionaires in last year's Forbes list, has been dropped from the elite circle.

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Forbes, which has been listing the world's billionaires since 1987, noted that this year's 1,426 billionaires collectively control $5.4 trillion of the world's wealth. This is higher than the $4.6 trillion shared by 1,226 people last year.

"To compile net worths, we value individuals' assets–including stakes in public and private companies, real estate, yachts, art and cash–and account for debt," Forbes said.

On top of the global list was Mexican telecommunications tycoon Carlos Slim ($73 billion), followed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates ($67 billion).

The owner of Spanish fashion retailer Zara, Amancio Ortega ($57 billion), wrestled the third spot from  Warren Buffet ($53.5 billion), who dropped out of the top three for the first time since 2000.

"The year's biggest loser is Brazilian Eike Batista, whose fortune dropped by $19.4 billion, or equivalent to about $50 million a day," Forbes said.

Batista ranked 100th this year, from 7th in 2012.

 Related slideshow: World's top 10 billionaires in 2013