FILIPINO TYCOON Manuel B. Villar, Jr. is now ranked among the top 200 richest people in the world, as his estimated net worth surged to a record $11 billion (around P621 billion) this year, according to Forbes.

At 190th spot, Mr. Villar was the highest-ranking Filipino tycoon in the World’s Billionaires List released by Forbes on Tuesday evening. He was also the only Filipino who landed in the top 200.

Mr. Villar saw his net worth climb by 28% to $11 billion this year from $8.6 billion in 2023 when he ranked 232nd on the list.

16 Richest Filipinos in Forbes’ 2024 World’s Billionaires ListA former Senate president and House speaker, Mr. Villar is currently the chairman of listed companies Vista Land & Lifescapes, Inc.; Golden MV Holdings, Inc.; supermarket chain AllDay Marts, Inc.; home improvement chain AllHome Corp.; and Vistamalls, Inc.

“Mr. Villar is diversifying his business with new investments in free-to-air TV and plans to build a casino and a theme park in southern Metro Manila,” Forbes said.

Forbes computed the net worth of the billionaires using stock prices and exchange rates from March 8.

The list, which features 2,781 billionaires, includes 16 from the Philippines. Ten of the Filipino billionaires on the list saw an increase in their net worth, while two billionaires reported a drop, and another one had the same net worth from last year.

The three Filipino newcomers to the list are Cosco Capital, Inc. Chairman Lucio L. Co and Vice-Chairman Susan P. Co, and Wilcon Depot Chairman Emeritus William T. Belo.

Enrique K. Razon, Jr., chairman of port operator International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI), ranked 224th on the Forbes list with a $10-billion net worth in 2024. His net worth jumped by 37% from $7.3 billion in 2023.

Mr. Razon also owns Bloomberry Resorts Corp., which operates Solaire Resort and Casino.

San Miguel Corp. President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ramon S. Ang landed in 920th place with a net worth of $3.5 billion, up by 3% from $3.4 billion a year ago.

The six Sy siblings of the SM Group had a combined net worth of $14.4 billion in 2024, but they were ranked individually in the Forbes list.

Hans T. Sy ranked 1,286th with a $2.6-billion net worth, followed by Henry T. Sy, Jr. and Herbert T. Sy both at 1,330th with $2.5-billion net worth each.

Harley T. Sy ranked 1,380th with a $2.4-billion net worth, followed by Teresita T. Sy-Coson at 1,438th with $2.3 billion. Elizabeth T. Sy landed on 1,545th spot with $2.1 billion.

On 1,330th spot was LT Group, Inc. Chairman Lucio C. Tan with a $2.5-billion net worth.

Megaworld Corp. Chairman Andrew L. Tan ranked 1,623rd with a $2-billion net worth.

Jollibee Foods Corp. Chairman Tony Tan Caktiong came in on 2,152nd spot with a net worth of $1.4 billion.

Cosco’s Mr. Co ranked 2,410th with a $1.2-billion net worth, while his wife Susan placed 2,545th with a net worth of $1.1 billion.

JG Summit Holdings, Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer Lance Y. Gokongwei also landed on 2,545th spot with a $1.1-billion net worth. 

Wilcon’s Mr. Belo placed 2,692nd with a net worth of $1 billion.

Meanwhile, French luxury goods titan Bernard Arnault topped the Forbes’ list of richest people after his net worth rose by 10% to $233 billion.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk ranked second on the list as his net worth jumped by 8% to $195 billion.

The top five includes Amazon founder and Executive Chairman Jeff Bezos ($194 billion), Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg ($177 billion) and Oracle Executive Chairman Larry Ellison ($141 billion).

The richest woman on the list is Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, the granddaughter of the founder of L’Oreal, with a net worth of $99.5 billion.

“It’s been an amazing year for the world’s richest people, with more billionaires around the world than ever before. A record-breaking 14 centibillionaires have 12-figure fortunes. Even during times of financial uncertainty for many, the superrich continue to thrive,” Forbes Senior Editor for Wealth Chase Peterson-Withorn said in a statement.

Forbes said the world’s billionaires are collectively worth a record $14.2 trillion, $2 trillion more than last year.

This year’s list included 265 newcomers such as fashion designer Christian Louboutin ($1.2 billion), NBA legend Magic Johnson ($1.2 billon), TV producer Dick Wolf ($1.2 billion), pop star Taylor Swift ($1.1 billion), and OpenAI’s Sam Altman ($1 billion). — R.M.D.Ochave