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Forbes list of Singapore's richest: Meta co-founder Eduardo Saverin is No. 1 in 2023

Eduardo Saverin added US$6.4 billion to his wealth this year as Meta shares surged, said Forbes.

Meta co-founder Eduardo Saverin, illustrating a story on Forbest richest in Singapore.
Eduardo Saverin takes the top spot in the 2023 Forbes Singapore's 50 Richest list. (PHOTO: Reuters) (Edgar Su / reuters)

SINGAPORE — Eduardo Saverin, the co-founder of Meta Platforms, is Singapore's richest person on Forbes' latest list of 50 richest in the city-state. 2023, with a net worth of US$16 billion.

With a net worth of US$16 billion, the Brazil native, who has been a resident of Singapore for over a decade, was the biggest gainer in the 2023 Forbes list of Singapore's 50 Richest. He added US$6.4 billion to his wealth to claim the top spot, as shares of Meta, formerly known as Facebook, were up nearly 70 per cent since fortunes were last measured. Saverin was the fourth richest person in Singapore on last year's list.

Retaining the second spot are brothers Robert and Philip Ng of the real estate developer Far East Organization with US$14.8 billion, down slightly from US$15.2 billion last year.

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Li Xiting, chairman of Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics, slipped to third place after two consecutive years in the top spot, as "healthcare stocks took a hit on China's anti-corruption drive against the pharma sector", Forbes said in a statement. His net worth fell to US$14 billion from US$15.6 billion last year.

In fourth position is Goh Cheng Liang, the majority shareholder who controls Japan's Nippon Paint Holdings. His net worth fell from last year's US$13 billion to US$12.3 billion this year.

Rounding off the fifth spot is real estate stalwart Kwek Leng Beng, with his fortune rising 18 per cent to US$11 billion from last year's US$9.3 billion. Post-pandemic, his company City Developments has been on the hunt for global acquisitions and bought the iconic St. Katharine Docks in central London for US$500 million in March.

Combined wealth of Singapore's 50 richest increased

The combined wealth of tycoons on the Singapore list rose by eight per cent to US$177 billion from US$164 billion last year amid a slowing economy. The wealth of more than half of those on the list was up this year, with six of them adding more than US$1 billion each.

This latter group includes of old-money families whose wealth is tied to banking, such as the Lee family of OCBC at number 11 and the Lien family with their stake in United Overseas Bank at number 15. They were the biggest gainers in percentage terms. The Lees more than doubled their net worth to US$5.1 billion from last year's US$2.2 billion, while the wealth of the Liens rose to US$2.8 billion from US$1.55 billion.

Newcomers and dropouts from Forbes list

There were three newcomers to the Singapore list this year, two of whom are originally from China. Liang Xinjun, the cofounder of Chinese conglomerate Fosun International, who now runs his family office, XIN Family, from Singapore, makes his debut at number 22 with US$2.15 billion.

The other is David Xueling Li at number 47, with a net worth of US$880 million. He is the co-founder and chairman of Nasdaq-listed, Singapore-headquartered JOYY, a live streaming and social media platform.

The third newcomer is Singaporean Lim Kaling, an early investor in gaming device maker Razer. He joins the list at number 48 with a net worth of US$875 million, 12 positions behind Razer's founder Tan Min-Liang, who sits at number 36 on the list with a net worth of US$1.25 billion.

Three from last year dropped off the list, including David Chen, the co-founder of e-commerce and gaming firm Sea, which saw its shares tank on disappointing second-quarter results.

The minimum net worth to make the list was US$750 million this year, up from US$705 million last year.

Top 10 richest in Singapore

Here are the top 10 richest in Singapore, according to the Forbes list:

1) Eduardo Saverin; US$16 billion

2) Robert & Philip Ng; US$14.8 billion

3) Li Xiting; US$14 billion

4) Goh Cheng Liang; US$12.3 billion

5) Kwek Leng Beng; US$11 billion

6) Zhang Yong & Shu Ping; US$9.7 billion

7) Khoo family; US$8.5 billion

8) Wee Cho Yaw; US$7.1 billion

9) Leo Koguan; US$6.5 billion

10) Kwee brothers; US$6.3 billion

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