Villar leads other Philippine billionaires on Forbes' richest list

Chelsea owner and Israeli billionaire Roman Abramovich 2018. Credit Chelsea FC

Malaysia's second richest man is Quek Leng Chan, one of the co-founders of the Hong Leong banking group, whose fortune is estimated to come in at US$9.4 billion.

Paint tycoon Goh Cheng Liang followed in 203rd place with US$7.2 billion, while hotpot chain Haidilao's founder Zhang Yong came in next at 224th with US$6.8 billion. Other Filipino taipans who made it to the Forbes world's richest list were San Miguel president Ramon Ang with a net worth of $2.9 billion; and Alliance Global Group chairman Andrew Tan with a net worth of $2.7 billion. ($1.2 billion) and Roberto Ongpin ($1.1 billion).

Others well-known among the uber-rich class with local connections include Detroit native and University of MI mega-donor Stephen Ross ($7.7 billion), Detroit real estate mogul Dan Gilbert ($6.7 billion), Detroit Red Wings owner Marian Ilitch ($4.1 billion) and Penske Corp. founder Roger Penske ($1.5 billion).

The 33rd annual ranking has 2,153 billionaires on the 2019 list, down from 2,208 in 2018. Of those, a record 994, or 46 per cent, are poorer (relatively speaking) than they were past year.

All together, the ultra-rich are worth $8.7 trillion, down $400 billion from 2018, and 247 people dropped out of the ranking - the most since 2009 at the height of the global financial crisis, Forbes reported.

Asia-Pacific had the biggest drop in its billionaire population, with 60 fewer holding 10-figure fortunes. There are now a record 609 in the U.S., including 14 of the world's 20 richest.

In a blow to Trump, America’s trade deficit hit record US$891b
The annual deficit in goods and services increased by US$68.8 billion, or 12.5 percent, Commerce Department data showed Wednesday. The trade deficit increased by almost 19 per cent in December, leading to a $US621 billion gap for 2018 - the largest since 2008.

Meanwhile, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos remains the world's richest for the second consecutive year, with a US$131 billion fortune, up by US$19 billion from the previous year.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg are also among the top 10 richest people on the list.

Ambani, 61, saw wealth soar from $40.1 billion in 2018 when he was placed 19th richest in the world, to $50 billion to be rank at 13th in 2019.

Of the 2,153 global billionaires, 21 are Israelis, according to the 2019 Forbes World Billionaires list.

China's Mr Ma Huateng, head of Internet giant Tencent, at No. 20 with US$38.8 billion, pipped Alibaba's Mr Jack Ma at No. 21 with US$37.3 billion.

There are now 2153 billionaires around the world, the magazine says, down 55 from a year ago.

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