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MANILA, Philippines - As Philippine share prices continued to soar, more Filipino billionaires were able to debut in Forbes' list of the richest people in the world.
According to Forbes, 11 Filipinos made it to the list, with shopping mall tycoon Henry Sy (88) and family on top -- currently at number 68 in the global list -- with a net worth of $13.2 billion as of March 2013.
"The Philippines' richest man Henry Sy saw his fortune swell by more than $5 billion as shares of his holding firm SM Investments, the country's most valuable company, surged by over 50 percent, fuelled by reports that it may merge its property units," Forbes said.
Sy is followed by alcohol and tobacco mogul Lucio Tan (78) and family at number 248, with a net worth of $5 billion. This chemical engineer used to mop floors to pay for his tuition at the Far Eastern University.
Port operator Enrique Razon (53) followed as the third richest Filipino, ranking 258 in the global list. Razon, who entered the hotel and casino business through Bloomberry Resorts, has a net worth of $4.9 billion.
Former kitchen appliance salesman Andrew Tan (60) is ranked 345 with a net worth of $3.95 billion, thanks to his real estate, food and beverage and gaming businesses.
Ninety-one-year-old David Consunji and his family is the 503rd richest man in the world with a net worth of $2.8 billion.
"Stock price of the Philippines Stock Exchange-listed company, which is up more than 20-fold since its 2009 low, took hit recently when an accident at its coal mine in Antique province claimed three lives," Forbes said.
This is Consunji's debut in the Forbes world's billionaires list.
George Ty (80) and his family, estimated to be worth $2.6 billion, landed on number 554 in the global billionaire list, with a little help from GT Capital's initial public offering and the subsequent 40 percent jump in the holding firm's share price.
Puregold Price Club's Lucio and Susan Co made it to number 736 as their net worth climbed to $2 billion. The share price of the second largest retailer in the Philippines has doubled since it went public two years ago.
At number 931 is Robert Coyiuto Jr. (60), who is estimated to be worth $1.6 billion. "Robert Coyiuto Jr. joins the billionaire ranks for the first time on performance of Philippine power transmission company National Grid Corporation, which he owns 30 percent of and which is co-owned by the son of Philippines' richest man, Henry Sy," Forbes said.
Jollibee Foods Corp. founder Tony Tan Caktiong (60) and family debuted in the global billionaire list at number 1031 as their net worth climbed to $1.4 billion. His fastfood stores abroad now contribute 20 percent to total revenues.
Andrew Gotianun (85) and family, with a net worth of $1.2 billion, ranked 1175 in Forbes' list as Filinvest shares surged by close to a third in 2012. Their East West Banking Corp. went public last year.
Also occupying the 1175th slot is Harvard Business School alumnus Roberto Ongpin (76), whose investments in San Miguel Corp. and other interests in banking, mining, gaming, property and telecommunications allowed him to amass wealth estimated to reach $1.2 billion.
"In December, a Manila court ordered the freezing of bank accounts tied to Ongpin as part of an investigation about possible preferential treatment he got for loans from state-owned Development Bank of the Philippines," Forbes said.
Absent from this global list was Jaime Zobel de Ayala and family, estimated to be worth $2.2 billion in June 2012 and the seventh richest Filipino at that time.
Also excluded from the last was Eduardo Cojuangco, who had sold his stake in San Miguel Corp. to his right-hand man, Ramon Ang. Cojuangco was the tenth richest Filipino in June 2012 and said to be worth $1.4 billion.
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