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Grab and Binance founder among new entrants to Forbes’ 2021 list of top 50 richest in S’pore

Forbes richest Singapore

Superapp Grab’s co-founder Anthony Tan made it as one of the three new additions to Forbes’ Singapore 50 richest people this year. Alongside him was Binance founder and chief executive Zhao Changpeng, as well as founder of nanotech solutions Nanofilm Dr Shi Xu.

The richest man in Singapore this year is Li Xiting, founder of ventilator maker Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics.

Venture capitalist and co-founder of Facebook Eduardo Saverin came second on this year’s list, while paints tycoon Goh Cheng Liang came in third.

The combined net worth of Singapore’s 50 richest people climbed 25 per cent to S$282 billion (US$208 billion) this year, with 42 people’s individual net worth reaching more than S$1.4 billion (US$1 billion).

One-fifth of those listed this year are tech tycoons. Other tech founders on the list include Sea Limited’s Forrest Li, Ye Gang, and David Chen.

The pandemic had impacted certain sectors including the food and beverage industry, and Hotpot chain Haidilao’s Zhang Yong and Shu Pink slipped down the rankings from first last year to fourth place. Their net worth dipped from US$19 billion to US$16 billion.

Here’s a quick look at some of Singapore’s richest people:

Number 1: Li Xiting (US$23 billion)

Image Credit: South China Morning Post

Li Xiting made his wealth through selling medical devices. He is the founder and chairman of medical devices supplier Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics, and has a net worth of US$23 billion.

The 70-year-old holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Science and Technology of China.

During the pandemic, Mindray donated US$4.6 million worth of medical devices to hospitals in hard-hit areas like China’s Wuhan and northern Italy.

Number 2: Eduardo Saverin (US$20.5 billion)

Image Credit: Bloomberg

Eduardo Saverin is best known as the co-founder of Facebook. The 39-year-old is now a venture capitalist, but still derives most of his wealth from his small stake in the tech giant.

In 2016, he launched venture fund B Capital, with BCG and Bain Capital veteran Raj Ganguly. The fund has US$1.4 billion of assets under management.

Eduardo has been a Singapore resident since renouncing his US citizenship in 2012 ahead of Facebook’s public listing.

Number 3: Goh Cheng Liang (US$18.6 billion)

Image Credit: Billionaire Monitor

94-year-old Goh Cheng Liang started off making paints in a small factory in Singapore before he went on to partner with Japan’s Nippon Paint in 1962.

Today, he gets the bulk of his wealth from a stake in the Japanese firm, which is the fourth largest paint manufacturer in the world. In March this year, the company celebrated its 140th anniversary.

Nippon Paint has partnered with the University of Tokyo for research on new products that offer protection against Covid-19.

Number 22: Zhao Changpeng (US$1.9 billion)

Image Credit: Forbes

45-year-old Zhao Changpeng goes by the nickname “CZ”, and is the founder and CEO of Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world.

In 2020, Binance reached US$2 trillion in total trading volume, and its Binance Coin (BNB) is now the third-biggest cryptocurrency by market cap.

Zhao is temporarily based in Singapore. Binance has been facing regulatory scrutiny in several countries, and Zhao had said that he is working with the authorities for the betterment of the cryptocurrency industry.

Number 47: Anthony Tan (US$790 million)

Image Credit: Financial Times

Anthony Tan is the chief executive and co-founder of Southeast Asia’s dominant ride-hailing app, Grab. The 39-year-old struck out on his own in 2012 to run Grab – he is the son of Tan Heng Chew, the president of Tan Chong Motor.

Grab now offers services in eight countries and has branched out into motorcycle taxis, delivery services, and software research and development.

The tech giant is working on listing on the public market via a special purpose acquisition company or SPAC deal as soon as the end of this year. The deal is set to value the company at S$54 billion (US$40 billion).

Anthony is listed on Forbes as a Singapore Citizen. The entrepreneur recently made the news with a purchase of a good class bungalow near Holland Village for S$40 million.

Forbes rich list selection criteria

Forbes measures the entrants’ net worth based on stock prices and exchange rates. The list includes family fortunes and those shared among extended families.

Foreign citizens who reside in Singapore, as well as those who are not residents but have significant business or other ties to the Republic, can also be included in the list.


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Featured Image Credit: Financial Times, Forbes

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