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Welcome to Singapore’s billionaires’ club

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Local real estate moguls Robert and Philip Ng have topped the list of Singaporean billionaires again, amassing a total wealth of US$10.1 billion.

The brothers, who are no stranger to Forbes’ lists of the world’s richest and oversee Far East Organisation, come in 108th globally.

Second on the local list, and 248th on the global list, is veteran banker Wee Cho Yan, with a net worth of US$5.3 billion. Wee’s father founded United Overseas Bank, and the family also owns private real estate company Kheng Leong. According to Forbes, Wee shares his fortune with five children, including son Wee Ee Cheong, who is currently UOB’s chief executive.

The four Kwee brothers, who are among Singapore’s biggest landlords, came in third in Singapore and 272nd globally, with a net worth US$4.6 billion. As the owners of prime real estate such as the Ritz-Carlton, the Regent and Millenia Walk, the brothers are also in negotiations to invest in a US$300 million luxury tower in Manhattan.

Other Singaporeans who made it on the list this year included co-founder of palm oil company Wilmar International, Kuok Khoon Hong, in fourth place with a net worth of US$2.2 billion, and investor Peter Lim in fifth place with a net worth of US$2.05 billion.

Globally, Carlos Slim Helu has been recognised as the world’s richest man for four years running, with a net worth of US$73 billion. A self-made telecom tycoon, Helu’s most valuable business is Pan-Latin American mobile telecom outfit America Movil, which is estimated to be worth US $36.3 billion.

Microsoft’s Bill Gates came in second with a net worth of US$72 billion. Gates has managed to remain high on Forbes’ list over the years, despite having given away US$28 billion to charity, mostly though the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Third on the global list this year was Spaniard Amancio Ortega, founding chairman of Inditex Fashion Group, which is most famous for its Zara chain. Ortega, who has a net worth of US$56 billion, has since stepped down from his position at Inditex, but still owns nearly 60% of the company’s shares.

Singapore’s 10 richest people

1. Robert and Philip Ng – US$10.1billion (S$12.5 billion)
2. Wee Cho Yan – US$5 billion (S$6.2 billion)
3. Kwee brothers – US$4.6 billion (S$5.7 billion)
4. Kuok Khoon Hong – US$2.6 billion (S$3.2 billion)
5. Peter Lim – US$2 billion (S$2.5 billion)
6. Sam Goi – US$1.7 billion (S$2.1 billion)
7. Zhong Sheng Jian – US$1.7 billion (S$2.1 billion)
8. Lim Oon Kuin – US$1.5 billion (S$1.9 billion)
9. Koh Wee Meng – US$1.4 billion (S$1.7 billion)
10. Asok Kumar Hiranandani – US$1 billion (S$1.2 billion)

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