Danding, Ongpin join Forbes billionaires list

Posted at 03/08/12 8:44 AM

Eduardo "Danding" Cojuangco and Roberto Ongpin
MANILA, Philippines - Mall tycoon Henry Sy and tobacco king Lucio Tan remained the top billionaires in the Philippines, according to the Forbes magazine's annual list of the world's billionaires released on Wednesday.

Eduardo Cojuangco, described by Forbes as a former Marcos crony, and Roberto Ongpin, former Trade Minister under the Marcos regime, were new additions to the 2012 Forbes Billionaires list.

Sy, the Philippines' richest man, and his family ranked 116 in the list with a net worth of $8 billion. The Sy family controls SM Investments Corp., which owns the country's largest mall developer and bank (BDO Unibank). His daughter Teresita Sy-Coson was recently named one of Forbes Asia's Power Businesswomen.

Lucio Tan, 77, ranked 314 in the global billionaires list with a net worth of $3.5 billion. The Tan family owns a third of Philip Morris-Fortune Tobacco, which dominates the Philippine cigarette market. His other companies include the country's second largest beer maker Asia Brewery, property firm Eton Properties and Philippine Airlines.

Andrew Tan, 59, has a net worth of $2.1 billion, landing him on number 601 on the Forbes list. Tan's holding company Alliance Global has interests in property (Megaworld Corp.), food and beverage (Emperador Distillers Inc.) and fast-food (Golden Arches Development Corp., which holds the master franchise for McDonald's). It also has a joint venture with Genting Hong Kong for the development of Resorts World Manila.

Ports operator Enrique Razon Jr. ranked 683 in the billionaires list with $1.9 billion. The 52-year-old businessman controls International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI), whose stock gained more than 30% in the past year.

Cojuangco, whose net worth is estimated at $1.3 billion, ranked 960 in the Forbes list. He controls food and beverage conglomerate San Miguel Corp., which is now diversifying into power, infrastructure and heavy industry.

Ongpin, 75, has a net worth of $1 billion and is ranked 1153 in the Forbes list. The Harvard Business School graduate has investments in property, gaming, mining and telecommunications. Last year, Ongpin was involved in a Senate inquiry over an allegedly behest loan given by the Development Bank of the Philippines.

116 Henry Sy & family $8B 87 diversified Philippines
314 Lucio Tan & family $3.5B 77 diversified Philippines
601 Andrew Tan $2.1B 59 diversified Philippines
683 Enrique Razon Jr. $1.9B 52 diversified Philippines
960 Eduardo Cojuangco $1.3B 76 diversified Philippines
1153 Roberto Ongpin $1B 75 diversified Philippines

Missing from the Forbes Billionaires list are Filipino tycoons John Gokongwei Jr. and Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala.

Top global billionaires

Meanwhile, Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim retained his position atop Forbes magazine's list of the world's billionaires with an estimated worth of $69 billion, while his Mexican rival Ricardo Salinas Pliego enjoyed the largest increase in wealth.

Microsoft Corp co-founder Bill Gates ranked second at $61 billion and Warren Buffett third at $44 billion. France's Bernard Arnault, the richest person in Europe, repeated at No. 4. They were the same top four as last year.

The youngest self-made woman at age 41 was Spanx founder Sara Blakely, whose net worth of $1 billion from her business of making slimming undergarments affirmed there was profit in vanity. Blakely, ranking at No. 1,153, was among 104 women on the list.

Fifty-eight countries were represented on the list of a record 1,226 billionaires whose average fortune was $3.7 billion. Some 128 billionaires were new to the Forbes rankings this year, including Colombia's Alejandro Santo Domingo, 35, the richest new billionaire in the world ($9.5 billion) and the face of Santo Domingo Group after last year's death of his father.

In addition to the usual aging plutocrats and heirs, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, 27, ranked 35th with a net worth of $17.5 billion. The social media heavyweight announced plans last month for an IPO that would value Facebook at a projected $100 billion.

Zuckerberg jumped 17 spots and $4 billion while the combined value of seven Facebook billionaires was $28.7 billion, including the $3.5 billion belonging to Dustin Moskovitz, 27, Zuckerberg's former Harvard roommate who was listed as the youngest self-made man. - With Reuters