39 S'poreans appear on Forbes' 2024 rich list, worth S$155 billion collectively

Li Xiting remains the wealthiest Singaporean, ranked 126th in the world.

Emily Williams | April 03, 2024, 05:36 PM



The Forbes 2024 list of the world's richest people has been released and 39 Singaporeans are on it, up from 35 in 2023.

Of the 39, four made their debut on the list.

According to Forbes, there are more billionaires than ever before, with 2,781 included on this year's list, or 141 more than that in 2023.

The wealth of those on the list totals US$14.2 trillion (S$19.2 trillion).

Li Xiting is the richest Singaporean, again

Li Xiting, co-founder and chairperson of Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics, a supplier of medical devices, is ranked 126th on the list, the highest of Singaporeans.

The 73-year-old's net worth is US$15.1 billion (S$20.4 billion).

According to Worldometer, his net worth is more than the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 48 countries.

Li Xiting writing in a book Image from Mindray.

Born in China and now a naturalised Singaporean citizen, Li founded Mindray in 1991.

Despite being the wealthiest Singaporean, Li's wealth has consistently declined since its peak of US$21.5 billion (S$29 billion) in 2021, after the Covid-19 pandemic.

On Forbes' 2023 list, his net worth was US$16.3 billion (S$22 billion), a drop from 2022 when he had a net worth of US$17.6 billion (S$23.7 billion).

39 Singaporeans valued at over US$1 billion (S$1.3 billion)

Of the 2,781 on the list, 39 are Singaporeans aged between 40 and 96, including the chairperson of Haidilao, Zhang Yong; Hotel 81 founder, Choo Chong Ngen; and the co-founders of online gaming and e-commerce firm, Sea, Gang Ye and Forrest Li.

One third of the Singaporeans on the list amassed their wealth from real estate.

The youngest Singaporean billionaire on the list is 40-year-old Kishin RK — a property developer who owns and runs RB Capital/ Royal Holdings with his father, Raj Kumar.

His net worth is US$1.6 billion (S$2.1 billion), ranked at 1,945th in the world.

The total net worth of the Singaporeans on the list is US$115.5 billion (S$155.3 billion), down from US$118.9 billion (S$160.6 billion) in 2023.

Four Singaporeans made their debut on the list

Three of the newcomers accumulated their wealth through banking, while the other through real estate.

Deputy chairperson and CEO of United Overseas Bank (UOB), Wee Ee Chong, made his debut on the list, ranking 1,945th with his US$1.6 billion (S$2.1 billion).

UOB exterior Image from Google Maps

Wee Ee Chao — chairperson of both Haw Par Corporation, maker of Tiger Balm, and brokerage, UOB Kay Hian — debuted at 2,287th on the list, tying with Wee Ee Lim chairperson of property development company UOL Group.

Both have a net worth of US$1.3 billion (S$1.7 billion).

The fourth newcomer was 67-year-old John Lim, who co-founded ARA Asset Management in 2001.

He is now worth US$1 billion (S$1.3 billion).

Richest person in the world worth more than most countries' GDP

Bernard Arnault from France sits in the top spot for the second year in a row with his US$233 billion (S$314.9 billion).

He is chairperson and CEO of Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LMVH), overseeing 75 luxury fashion and cosmetics brands.

Bernard Arnault Image from LVMH

Arnault's net-worth is more than the GDP of 124 countries.

Elon Musk, worth an estimated US$195 billion, is second on the list.

Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, who is worth an estimated US$194 billion, is third.

Meta's Mark Zuckerberg is ranked fourth with US$177 billion (S$239 billion).

Forbes reported that Zuckerberg is the "richest he's ever been", having made US$116.2 billion (S$157 billion) since 2023's list was published.

Two 19-year-olds made the list, Clemente Del Vecchio from Italy and Livia Voigt from Brazil.

The pair's net worths are US$4.7 billion (S$6.3 billion) and US$1.1 billion (S$1.5 billion), respectively.

The oldest billionaire is 102-year-old George Joseph from the U.S., founder of insurance provider, Mercury General.

He is one of three centenarians on the list.

A total of 813 billionaires are from the U.S, 473 are from China, and 200 are from India.

Only 369 are women.

'Wildest Dreams' come true

Taylor Swift has made her debut on the list for the first time, coming in at 2,545th with her US$1.1 billion (S$1.5 billion) fortune.

Bloomberg first reported her billionaire status in October 2023, based on estimates amidst the wild success of her The Eras Tour.

Taylor Swift performing at her The Eras Tour Taylor Swift's The Eras Tour is the highest grossing tour of all time. Image from Taylor Swift/X.

According to Forbes, the 34-year-old pop star is the first musician to make the list solely based on her songs and performances.

Her net worth is made up of an estimated US$500 million (S$675 million) from royalties and touring, plus a music catalog worth US$500 million (S$675 million) and a US$125 million (S$169 million) real estate portfolio.

The rich list

Forbes first published a list of the world's richest people in 1987.

Forbes says its 2024 list of billionaires is "a snapshot of wealth" based on stock prices and exchange rates from Mar. 8, 2024.

The Guardian quoted Forbes’ wealth editor Chase Peterson-Withorn as saying:

“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 [US$100 billion] have 12-figure fortunes.

Even during times of financial uncertainty for many, the super-rich continue to thrive.”

Top photo from Mindray & Canva