Manny Villar remains wealthiest Filipino in Forbes list, PH now has 17 billionaires

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 7) — Former lawmaker and real estate magnate Manny Villar is still the richest Filipino in the Forbes World's Billionaires List this 2021.

He is among the 17 Filipinos in the international publication's list, up from last year's 15. Forbes listed 2,755 billionaires worldwide this 2021, also higher from the 2,095 the year prior.

Villar placed 352nd worldwide, with a net worth of $7.2 billion (around ₱349.7 billion) this year. Villar is behind real estate conglomerate Vista Land & Lifescapes, which has delved into the development of subdivisions, condominiums, malls, convenience stores, and even coffee chains.

Ports tycoon Enrique Razon Jr. also remained the second wealthiest Filipino in the list, ranking 561st. The International Container Terminal Services Inc. chief has $5 billion (around ₱242.8 billion) to his name, according to Forbes.

LT group founder and businessman Lucio Tan came next with a rank of 925th globally. His net worth is listed as $3.3 billion (about ₱150.2 billion).

Andrew Tan, who leads Alliance Global Group, is worth $3 billion (about ₱145.7 billion). He placed 1008th globally. Some of the brands under AGI are Megaworld, Emperador, and the local McDonald's franchise.

The Sy siblings also made it to the top 10 richest Filipinos according to Forbes list. Hans and Herbert Sy both recorded a net worth of $3 billion (around ₱145.7 billion), while Harley, Henry Jr. and Teresita Sy-Coson were each valued at $2.7 billion (about ₱131.1 billion). Elizabeth Sy, on the other hand, has a net worth of $2.4 billion (around ₱116.5 billion), said Forbes.

The siblings earlier divided among themselves the mall empire established by their late father Henry Sy Sr., who founded SM Malls.

Jollibee founder Tony Tan Caktiong and his family ranked 1299th with a net worth of $2.4 billion (around ₱116.5 billion), similar to Elizabeth Sy. San Miguel president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang placed 1444th with $2.2 billion (about ₱106.8 billion).

Businessman Inigo Zobel, meanwhile, held the 2141st spot globally with a net worth of $1.4 billion (around ₱68 billion).

Lance Gokongwei, who currently leads JG Summit Holdings, is tied with businessman Roberto Ongpin at 2378th place. They are both valued at $1.2 billion (about ₱58.2 billion).

Century Pacific founder Ricardo Po Sr. and family and DoubleDragon Properties chairman Edgar "Injap" Sia II both ranked 2524th in the list with a net worth of $1.1 billion (about ₱53.4 billion). Sia, who also founded fast food chain Mang Inasal, subjected his grocery chain MerryMart to an initial public offering in June last year.

Despite the pandemic triggering a global economic downturn, most Filipino billionaires still saw their net worth go up in 2021, with the exception of Ongpin who had been valued lower, along with list newbies Zobel and Gokongwei, and returnees Po and Sia.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos remains the world's richest billionaire, now worth $177 billion. He is followed by Tesla and SpaceX chief executive officer Elon Musk ($151 billion), LVMH chief executive Bernard Arnault and family ($150 billion), Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates ($124 billion), and Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg ($97 billion).

"A new billionaire was minted every 17 hours on average over the past year," Forbes said, adding that the globe's richest individuals are $5 trillion wealthier this year than they were in 2020.