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35 Singaporeans made it to 2023 Forbes World's Billionaires List

There are three new billionaires from Singapore.

Airplane flying over the financial district in Singapore City at sunset, illustrating a story on the Forbes World's Billionaires List.
A total of 35 Singaporeans made it to this year's Forbes World's Billionaires List. (PHOTO: Getty) (guvendemir via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — There were more Singaporean billionaires in the Forbes 2023 World's Billionaires List, increasing to 35 individuals from last year's 26.

Three new entrants from Singapore – Kwek Leng Keow, son of banking tycoon Kwek Hong Leong (No. 2,020), hotel tycoon Michael Kum (No. 2,540), and Raffles Medical Group co-founder Loo Choon Yong (No. 2,540) – made their debut on the annual wealth rankings this year. CEO of gaming company Razer, Tan Min-Liang (No. 2,405), was a returnee on this year's list with a net worth of US$1.1 billion.

Li Xiting, the founder of medical equipment company Mindray, once again tops this year's rankings as the richest Singaporean on the list – though his ranking fell to No. 103 from No. 94 last year. His total wealth fell from US$17.6 billion in 2022 to US$16.3 billion this year.

Li is followed closely by paint manufacturing tycoon Goh Cheng Liang as the second richest Singaporean to make the list at No. 123 and Far East Organization Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Phillip Ng as the third richest Singaporean at No. 290.

Other Singaporeans on the list include chairman of hotpot chain Haidilao Zhang Yong (No. 299), founder of online gaming and e-commerce firm Sea, Forrest Li (No. 591), former stockbroker Peter Lim (No. 1,164) and property tycoon Raj Kumar, who made the list along with his son Kishin RK in the same position (No. 1905).

Richest people in the world

The number of billionaires around the world fell for a second straight year in 2023 given the challenging market conditions. The total number of billionaires fell to 2,640, down from 2,668 last year. Collectively, the world's billionaires are now worth US$12.2 trillion, down from US$12.7 trillion in March 2022.

French luxury goods titan Bernard Arnault tops the World's Billionaires ranking for the first time, with an estimated net worth of US$211 billion, on the back of a strong year for his LVMH group.

He unseats Elon Musk, who dominated most of 2022 as the year's richest person but has now fallen to second place with a net worth estimated at US$180 billion – US$39 billion less than a year ago following his controversial takeover of Twitter, and Tesla's falling share price.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos takes the third spot with a net worth of US$114 billion, a steep drop from his wealth last year which stood at $171 billion. Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison came in at No. 4 with a net worth of US$107 billion followed by the Oracle of Omaha himself, Warren Buffet, at No. 5 with a net worth of US$106 billion.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates fell to No. 6 in this year's list from No. 4 in 2022, after seeing his total wealth drop to US$104 billion from US$129 billion. The richest man in Asia, Indian tycoon Mukesh Ambani, is at No. 9 on the global list with a net worth of US$83.4 billion.

Key highlights from the list

This year's billionaires ranking also featured 150 newcomers to the list, including basketball icon LeBron James, fashion designer Tom Ford and golf legend Tiger Woods. There were more newcomers last year at 236.

On the other hand, 254 people fell off the list in 2023 while another 33 died. Some of the notable drop-offs include former crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried, Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard and rapper Kanye West.

At least 15 billionaires on the Forbes list are 30 years old or younger, such as 30-year-old Red Bull heir Mark Mateschitz (No. 37) who is the richest in this age group and the richest newcomer on the list with a fortune worth US$34.7 billion.

At least two from the billionaires under 30 group are still in their teens. South Korean Kim Jung-youn, 19, inherited about a third of her gaming tycoon father's wealth while Clemente Del Vecchio, 18, became a new teenage billionaire when his Italian billionaire father Leonardo Del Vecchio died last year.

Women made up 13 per cent of this year's billionaires list, a slight increase from 12 per cent a year ago. In absolute numbers, there are 337 women billionaires in 2023, an increase from 327 in 2022.

The United States continues to be the country with the most number of billionaires in the world with 736 individuals. This is followed by China, which includes Hong Kong and Macau, with 562 billionaires.

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