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The wealth of the Philippines’ 50 Richest depicts robust recovery

By Alyanna Silvestre
Published September 12, 2021

The Philippines’ most affluent families and individuals staged a “robust recovery” this year based on the Philippines’ 50 Richest list by Forbes Magazine.

According to Forbes’ latest list of the Philippines’ 50 Richest, the combined wealth of the Philippines’ billionaires jumped by 30% to $79 billion despite the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Despite the ravages of Covid-19, the economy notched up double-digit growth in this year’s second quarter. Investor sentiment remained buoyant, fueling a 13% rise in the benchmark stock index from a year ago,” Forbes said in its press release of the latest list.

The business magazine also noted that four of the listees added over $1 billion each to their net worth, with the top three being collectively richer by nearly $6 billion. 

The Sy siblings, heirs to late taipan Henry Sy Sr., claimed the top spot anew, collectively earning $2.7 billion more in 2021 and making their total net worth $16.6 billion. 

Property magnate Manuel Villar, whose net worth rose by $1.7 billion to $6.7 billion, ranked second and is still the country’s richest individual. 

The third spot is secured by Enrique Razon Jr., who grew his wealth by $1.5 billion to $5.8 billion after taking over Manila Water.

Meanwhile, Monde Nissin co-founder and president Betty Ang has been this year’s biggest percentage gainer as she climbed 20 spots to rank 18th. Her wealth surged to $1.7 billion following the food and beverages company’s initial public offering (IPO) in June.

The said market debut also produced three newcomers to the ranks: Monde Nissin chairman Hartono Kweefanus (No. 11, $1.95 billion); Monde Nissin CEO Henry Soesanto (No. 25, $795 million); and brothers Keng Sun and Peter Mar (No. 35, $410 million), heirs to a biscuit business that was sold by their family to Monde Nissin.

According to Forbes, there are eight newcomers on this year’s list, and among the newcomers are Converge ICT Solutions Inc. co-founders Dennis Anthony and Maria Grace Uy. They grew their wealth to $2.8 billion to make their debut on the Forbes list at the sixth spot. The couple’s fortune rose after raising $522 million from its IPO last year.

However, the business magazine reported that more than a dozen people on the list saw their fortunes decline, and this includes liquor and airline tycoon Lucio Tan, who dropped to the 12th spot from the third spot with $1.9 billion. Tan’s portfolio has been undoubtedly affected by the pandemic, specifically Philippine Airlines (PAL), which recently filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States.

The top 10 most affluent in the Philippines are:

1. Sy siblings ($16.6 billion)

2. Manuel Villar ($6.7 billion)

3. Enrique Razon, Jr. ($5.8 billion)

4. Lance Gokongwei and siblings ($4 billion)

5. Jaime Zobel de Ayala ($3.3 billion)

6. Dennis Anthony and Maria Grace Uy ($2.8 billion)

7. Tony Tan Caktiong ($2.7 billion)

8. Andrew Tan ($2.6 billion)

9. Ramon Ang ($2.3 billion)

10. Ty siblings ($2.2 billion) 

For the complete list and other information, visit