It’s that time of the year again where we look at someone’s bank account and tell others how much they’re worth
Sometimes we like a little validation, and for those from the upper crust, the Bloomberg Billionaires Index 2019 easily does it. Each year, the media company releases a list, ranking the 500 richest of the world. From Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban, with a worth of US$4.35 billion (S$5.89 billion), to Jeff Bezos, who has held pole position as the world’s richest person (US$116 billion / S$157 billion) for the third year running, here are the eight Singaporeans who have made the cut. Here’s who they are, and what their companies have been up to this year.
Goh Cheng Liang
Net worth: US$10.8 billion (S$14.6 billion)
What about: Talk about painting the town red. Goh Cheng Liang takes things a step further by well, making and distributing said paint. The self-made billionaire started out by making paint, then by establishing Wuthelam Holdings, the main distributor for Nippon Paint in Singapore. Today, Goh has a 39 per cent stake in Nippon Paint.
Fun fact: The oldest Singaporean on the list at 92 years old, end reportedly enjoys collecting luxury yachts. Life may not have been smooth sailing for Goh when he first started out, but it seems like it now.
Wee Cho Yaw
Net worth: US$9.17 billion (S$12.4 billion)
What about: He’s a household name for numerous reasons, the biggest being that he’s the largest shareholder and chairman emeritus of United Overseas Bank. Founded in 1935 as the United Chinese Bank, it today has operations in the UK, the US, and within Asia Pacific, countries such as Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Brunei. It most recently made headlines for persisting a potential merger and acquisition of Permata, Indonesia’s 10th biggest bank by assets.
Fun fact: Wee also sits on the board of the Haw Par group. His grandson, Wee Teng Wen, is the co-founder of the Lo & Behold Group, with concepts such as Esora, Odette, Tanjong Beach Club and The White Rabbit under its belt.
Net worth: US$8.94 billion (S$12.09 billion)
What about: He’s the CEO of Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics, a Shenzhen-based company that produces and distributes medical equipment in three key businesses: patient monitoring and life support (hospital beds, oxymeters, ECG machines), in-vitro diagnostic products (analyses blood and other samples) along with medical imaging systems (X-rays, endoscopies and MRIs).
Fun fact: The Chinese businessman gave up his PRC citizenship to hold a Singapore passport.
Shu Ping and Zhang Yong
Rank: 232 and 233 respectively
Net worth: US$7.44 billion (S$10.06 billion) and US$7.41 billion (S$10.02 billion)
Industry: Food & Beverage
What about: Love the idea of receiving a manicure while waiting for a table at Haidilao? You’ve Shu Ping to thank. She, along with husband Zhang Yong, are founders of the hotpot chain, which first came to Singapore in 2012. While hotpot restaurants are dime a dozen in Singapore, this particular business revolutionised the industry with its food offerings, top-notch service and daily performances. There are more than 370 Haidilao restaurants in the world, with 11 in Singapore. A 12th branch is slated to open at Marina Square.
Fun fact: China-born Zhang is the youngest Singaporean to make the list at just 48 years old. He started his first Haidilao restaurant in 1994, despite not having a background in F&B
Tan Kim Choo
Net worth: US$6.33 billion (S$8.56 billion)
Industry: Real Estate
What about: Tan Kim Choo is the largest shareholder of Far East Organisation (FEO), one of the largest property developers in Singapore. Its most recent launch is the One Holland Village Residences, part of a mixed-development unit. The company also opened The Outpost and The Barracks hotels on Sentosa Island this year. Tan also holds shares in local drinks company, Yeo Hiap Seng.
Fun fact: Tan’s husband is real estate tycoon, the late Ng Teng Fong, and has two sons, Philip and Robert Ng, both who made the list.
Net worth: US$5.98 billion (S$8.09 billion)
Industry: Real Estate
What about: Philip Ng is the chief executive of the publicly-listed FEO. Apart from the company’s property launches, FEO also worked with the Central Singapore Community Development Council to support migrant workers and former offenders.
Fun fact: Ng is staunch Christian, and has always maintained that FEO is a Christian enterprise.
Net worth: US$5.91 billion (S$7.99 billion)
Industry: Real Estate
What about: Robert Ng is the chairman of Sino Group – the sister company of Far East Organisation, a property company based in Hong Kong that also invests in hotel management. Apart from developing The Fullerton Hotel Singapore and The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore, it also owns the newly-opened The Fullerton Hotel Sydney.
Fun fact: His son, Daryl Ng, serves as deputy chairman of Sino Group.