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Big Business Players in Singapore

July 21, 2014 | SERVCORP

Singapore's economic growth has progressed amidst fluctuating global economies. In spite of being one of the smallest countries in terms of geographic size, Singapore is one of the economic leaders not only in Southeast Asia, but in the world. Considered as one of the economic gateways of Asia, Singapore is indeed a sought-after country by foreign investors.  It is not surprising then that Singapore is host to large conglomerates and is called “home” by some of the richest and most powerful people across continents.

Logic dictates that Singapore's wealthiest belong to the top companies or conglomerates in the country. On the contrary. Being in the list of Singapore's richest does not necessarily indicate that one is indeed affiliated with a huge company. As a matter of fact, the top five richest individuals in Singapore are self-made businessmen and women.  These individuals started from the bottom and climbed to the top through their own efforts. These individuals are indeed big business players in Singapore.

Top Five Richest Individuals in Singapore

Robert and Philip Ng - The two brothers inherited their father's property empire. In his lifetime, Ng Teng Fong developed and built over 700 malls, hotels and condominiums not only in Singapore but in Hong Kong as well. The family owns Far East Organization and its private real estate holdings are valued at $6 billion. The brothers are worth $10.6 billion.

Kwek Leng Beng -He is the CEO of Singapore's Hong Leong Group. His assets include Singapore-listed City Developments which is the second largest property developer in the country. His other assets include property, finance and hospitality businesses not only in Singapore but in the U.K. and Malaysia. His assets are worth $7.1 billion.

Khoo Family- The heirs of the late Khoo Tech Puat sold in 2006 their share in Standard Chartered Bank for $4 billion. However, the Khoo family is still worth a cool $6.7 billion. They have retained the Goodwood Group of Hotels which is their flagship property in Singapore.

Wee Cho Yaw - He is the chairman emeritus of the largest bank in Singapore based on market capitalization.  The United Overseas Bank was founded by Wee Cho Yaw's father and for 33 years he ran the company.  In 2007, his son Wee E Cheong became CEO. The current CEO is Wee Ee Lim. Kheng Leong is the family's private real estate branch.  The family's current value is $5.3 billion.

Kwee Brothers - The four Kwee brothers earned their first million in real estate. They are known to be Singapore's leading company in luxury real estate. Late in 2013, the family-owned Pontiac Land joined up with Golden Sachs, and Hines to develop and build a luxury Manhattan luxury residential condo a stone's throw away from the Museum of Modern Art. The estimated value of the company is $5.2 billion.

These self-made business tycoons earned their riches through banking and finance, real estate, and hospitality and medical industries. The companies that they built do not necessarily belong to the top largest companies in Singapore in terms of revenue.

Top 5 Companies Ranked by Sales

The top 1 in this list is Shell Eastern Trading (PTE) LTD. with a sales turnover of SGD 141.7 billion and with over SGD 2 billion in profits.  BP Singapore PTE Limited's sales turnover is SGD 61 billion, with a profit of SGD 324 million. Wilmar International LTD's total sales turnover is around SGD 56 billion, with a net profit of over SGD 2billion. Ranked fourth is Vitol Asia PTE. LTD. with a total turnover of SGD 56 billion and a SGD 258 billion profit. ExxonMobil Asia Pacific  PTE. LTD. has a total turnover sales of SGD 46 billion and a SGD 643 million profit.

According to Singapore 1000, the combined sales of Singapore's top 20 companies based on total revenue sales is over the SGD 2 trillion mark.

Top 5 Most Valuable Companies

A company's value is assessed by its market value or market capitalization. It is basically the price per share multiplied by the number of shares outstanding. It is a fact that the higher the market capitalization or value, the price tag as determined by investors are bigger.

SingTel has a market capitalization of $57,396 M. Its operating value and net profit both increased by 4%.  Jardine Strategic Holdings has a market capitalization of $52,475 M whereas Jardine Matheson Holdings' market value is pegged at $51,374 M. Fourth ranked is DBS with a market capitalization of $39, 124 M and the fifth most valuable company in Singapore is OCBC with a market capitalization of $34,403 M.

The numbers presented in this article are staggering. For a young would-be entrepreneur, the possibility of his start-up company hitting it big might seem nil. One must remember that the top 5 richest men in Singapore started from the bottom rung and climbed their way up.  Every start-up company has the potential of becoming a big, successful company. Find the need. Provide the need. Persevere.

Contact Servcorp now for information on how to start a business in Singapore