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    Aug 12, 2016

    S'pore's richest hit by stock market turmoil

    THE faltering markets have dented the fortunes of many of Singapore's wealthiest although some billionaires have bucked the trend, according to Forbes magazine.

    It noted that the overall wealth of Singapore's 50 richest people had inched up just 2.4 per cent from a year ago, while the number of billionaires rose from 28 last year to 29.

    "While the Singapore dollar has remained flat, the stock market fell 10 per cent since the 2015 ranking, buffeting several fortunes," it said.

    "More than half of the returnees to this year's list saw a decline in their fortunes."

    But some billionaires bucked the downward trend, including property magnate Chua Thian Poh of Ho Bee Land, "thanks to a diversified portfolio, which includes overseas assets".

    Mr Chua ranked 23 on the list, up from 26 last year, with a net worth of US$1.2 billion (S$1.6 billion).

    Tycoon Oei Hong Leong - son of Indonesia billionaire Eka Tjipta Widjaja who founded Singapore Exchange-listed Golden Agri-Resources - slipped a spot to 28th but his net worth is US$1.1 billion, up from US$1 billion a year ago.

    Three newcomers to the top 50 list: Indian-born Singapore resident Arvind Tiku, Kuik Ah Han, founder of developer Sim Lian Group, and Tan Min-Liang, co-founder and chief executive of gaming company Razer.

    Mr Tiku, who is at 14th with a net worth of US$1.8 billion, "has interests in oil and gas, property and renewable energy held through his private holding outfit AT Holdings", said Forbes.

    Mr Kuik has entered at 39th, with a net worth of US$625 million, while Mr Tan is ranked 41st at US$600 million.

    Property magnates and siblings Robert and Philip Ng, who run developer Far East Organization, maintained their top spot even after a slight dent in wealth from US$8.7 billion last year to US$8.6 billion this year.

    The Straits Trading Company executive chairman Chew Gek Khim, who is named by Forbes as "the only woman in the ranks" this year, is at No. 49, down from 41st last year, with a net worth of US$460 million.

    Singapore resident Eduardo Saverin made the largest gain, jumping three places to third, with a net worth of US$7.2 billion, up from US$5.4 billion last year.

    He is also the youngest by individual net worth on the list.

    "The 34-year-old Facebook co-founder has reinvented himself as a venture capitalist but still derives wealth from his minority stake in the social media giant," said Forbes.