Singapore’s richest 40 worth over 20% of GDP

The net worth of Singapore's 40th wealthiest individuals and families is equal to 21.4 percent of Singapore's gross domestic product. They include eight billionaires and have a total net worth of $39 billion, according to Forbes. That's 20 percent more than the $32 billion they had last year, it adds, their fortunes rising as the economy recovers from recession.

Singapore's gross domestic product last year was $181.9 billion, according to the 2009 Global Competitiveness Report, which says Singapore is the world's third most competitive economy after front-ranked Switzerland and second-placed America.

Property tycoons dominate the Singapore rich list, topped by 81-year-old Ng Teng Fong of Far East Organization, Singapore's largest property developer.

The oldest tycoon is 91-year-old Chang Yun Chung, the China-born founder of the shipping line, Pacific International Lines. He is estimated to be worth $640 million and ranked 13th. The youngest is Koh Wee Meng, 46, worth $360 million and ranked 20th. He deals in both property (Fragrance) and jewellery (Aspial), according to Forbes.

Here are the top 20, according to Forbes:

  1. Far East Organization's Ng Teng Fong, 81,  remains No. 1, worth $8 billion, $1 billion more than last year.
  2. Goodwood Group of Hotels' Khoo family, worth $5.5 billion.
  3. Palm oil firm Wilmar International's Kuok Khoon Hong, 60, worth $3.5 billion.
  4. Property developer Pontiac Land's Kwee brothers, worth $3.2 billion.
  5. United Overseas Bank's Wee Cho Yaw, 80, worth $3.1 billion.
  6. Yanlord Land's China-born Zhong Sheng Jian, 49, worth $2 billion.
  7. Investor and former stockbroker Peter Lim, 56, worth $1.5 billion. Stakes in Wilmar, fashion retailer FJ Benjamin and brewery restaurant Brewerkz.
  8. City Developments' Kwek Leng Beng, 68, worth $1.2 billion.  
  9. Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp's former chairman Lee Seng Wee, 78, worth $800 million.
  10. Hotel Properties' (Four Seasons, Hard Rock hotels ) managing director and Singapore Grand Prix organizer Malaysian Ong Beng Seng, 65, and his wife, Christina Ong (Como Hotels and Resorts, Club 21), worth $700 million.
  11. The late UOB banker and hotelier Lien Ying Chow's Lien family, worth $690 million.
  12. Investor Tan Boy Tee, 60, worth $650 million.
  13. Chang Yun Chung, 91, worth $640 million.
  14. Trading and property group Kuo International's Peter Fu Chong Cheng, worth $570 million.
  15. Former UOB executive Ho Sim Guan, 82, worth $470 million.
  16. Property developer Ho Bee Investment's Chua Thian Poh, 61, worth $450 million.
  17. Hong Leong Group's Kwek Leng Kee, 54, worth $430 million.
  18. Cement and concrete supplier Pan United's Henry Ng, 51, worth $420 million.
  19. Vivian Chandran, widow of marine fuel provider Chemoil's founder Robert Chandran, worth $370 million.
  20. Koh Wee Meng, 46, worth $360 million.