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Ng Brothers are S'pore's richest with US$10.8b net worth; Razer CEO makes billionaire list: Forbes

REAL estate barons Robert and Philip Ng have retained their No 1 spot as the top billionaires in Singapore, with a combined net worth of US$10.8 billion in financial magazine Forbes' 32nd annual ranking of the world's billionaires.

Their net worth is up from the previous year's US$9.4 billion.

Paint tycoon Goh Cheng Liang came in second with a net worth of US$8.1 billion, retaining his spot from last year, where he recorded a net worth of US$7.8 billion.

Mr Goh gets the bulk of his wealth from a 39 per cent stake in Japan's Nippon Paint Holdings, the fourth-largest paint manufacturer in the world.

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Chairman of United Overseas Bank (UOB) Wee Cho Yaw came third in the rankings this year with a net worth of US$6.6 billion, up from US$5.8 billion in 2017.

The bank announced in November that Mr Wee will step down from the UOB board at the annual shareholders' meeting in April this year after six decades of dedicated service.

Mr Wee will relinquish all his board responsibilities but retain his chairman emeritus title, and will also be appointed honorary adviser to the board in recognition of his many years of leadership and contribution to the group, UOB said.

A new entrant to the billionaire list came in the form of gaming peripheral maker Razer's chief executive Tan Min Liang, whose firm's Temasek and Li Ka-shing-backed initial public offering in Hong Kong raised some HK$4.1 billion (S$690.51 million) and valued the company at around HK$34.4 billion.

The Kwee family and chairman of Taiwan-based Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Jason Chang rounded out the top five billionaires in Singapore.

Overall in 2018, the Asia-Pacific region recorded the highest number of billionaires with 827, Forbes said, with the United States trailing with 585 and Europe with 559.

Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos was crowned the world's richest man for the first time with a US$112 billion net worth.

He seized the spot from former Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, who slipped to second with a US$90 billion net worth, but ahead of veteran investor Warren Buffet, who is worth an estimated US$84 billion.