Plagued by global headwinds and technical defeat, collective wealth falls by a fifth

This story is part of Forbes’ coverage of Singapore’s richest 2022. View full list here.

Singapore’s reputation as a safe haven, polished during the pandemic, has made it a magnet for the wealthy. The continued influx of wealthy foreigners boosted the city-state’s real estate industry, pushing up prices and rents. The easing of border restrictions from April led to an increase in international visitor numbers, pushing hotel prices up. Despite these positive trends, rising inflation and the global tech crisis have reduced the combined wealth of Singapore’s 50 richest by more than a fifth to $164 billion from a year ago.

The pecking order of the top five reflects the post-pandemic reality. the wealth of Li Xiting, founder and chairman of Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics, shrank by nearly a third to $15.6 billion, though he maintained his No. 1 position. Shares of its medical device manufacturer fell due to slower sales growth. Property recovery and new information about their real estate holdings propelled brothers on Robert and Philip Ng to second place with $15.2 billion. The fortune of the 95-year-old painting magnate Goh Cheng Liangwhich controls Japan’s Nippon Paint Holdings and is the oldest person on the list, fell by 30% to $13 billion, though it still ranks #3.

The tech sell-off has more than halved the assets of the Facebook co-founder (since the name Meta Platforms was rebranded) Eduardo Saverin to $9.6 billion and he dropped two places to number 4. New York-listed gaming company Sea, last year’s red-hot stock, plunged into mounting losses in its e-commerce business, squandering the wealth of its three co-founders. was hollowed out Forest Li, gang yes and David Chen each by more than 70% – the largest percentage drop.

These precipitous declines far outweighed the increase in wealth recorded by more than half of the list members. Striking in this group is Min-Liang Tan, founder of Razer, who benefited from taking his gaming devices private. The recovery of the catering industry brought hotelier Michael Kumo of M&L Hospitality back in the ranks after a one-year hiatus.

There are two newcomers this year, both with international roots. The richest newcomer was born in Indonesia Leo Koguan, co-founder and chairman of IT provider SHI International, who last year revealed he is Tesla’s third-largest individual shareholder. Now a US citizen living in Singapore, Koguan appears at number 7 with $7.6 billion. The second newcomer was born in France Laurent Juniquefounder of Singapore-based call center and business process outsourcing company TDCX, which listed on the New York Stock Exchange last October.

Three from last year dropped out, including Changpeng Zhao, the itinerant founder of crypto exchange Binance, who was among the wealthiest in Singapore last year but has since moved to Dubai. Another notable absentee is Grab Holdings co-founder Anthony Tan; shares of the superapp tumbled amid ongoing losses. The minimum net worth to make the list dropped from $705 million last year to $705 million from $735 million last year.

Complete coverage of Singapore’s richest 2022:

Additional reporting by Jonathan Burgos, Gloria Haraito, Anuradha Raghunathan, Jessica Tan and Yue Wang.


Methodology:

The list has been compiled from stock and financial information obtained from the families and individuals, exchanges, analysts and other sources. Unlike our billionaire rankings, this list includes family fortunes, including those shared by extended families like that of Kwek Leng Beng and his cousins. Net worth is based on share prices and exchange rates as of the close of markets on August 19, 2022. Private companies have been valued on the basis of comparable companies listed on the stock exchange. The list may also include foreign citizens who have business, residential or other ties to the country, or citizens who do not reside in the country but have significant business or other ties to the country. The editors reserve the right to adjust information or to remove party leaders in the light of new information.