Sat, Mar 05, 2016 - Page 5 News List

Tsai Eng-meng loses US$2.9bn, still tops list

Staff writer, with CNA

Want Want Group chairman Tsai Eng-meng (蔡衍明) remained the richest person in Taiwan, according to this year’s list of the world’s billionaires released by Forbes magazine.

While Tsai continued to be the wealthiest person in Taiwan, his net worth fell to US$6 billion from US$8.9 billion last year.

Analysts said the decline of Tsai’s wealth reflected an economic slowdown in China, where many Taiwanese entrepreneurs, including Tsai, have invested heavily.

Tsai was ranked 201st on the latest global billionaire list, down from 147th a year earlier.

Forbes said Tsai transformed his father’s small trading firm I Lan Foods Industrial into the snack food giant Want Want China Times Group, which sells beverages and snacks ranging from rice crackers to spicy peanuts.

Tsai has also diversified his business into other industries, including the finance and media sectors.

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co founder and chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) was ranked second-richest among the Taiwanese on the list, unchanged from a year earlier, though his net worth fell to US$5.6 billion from US$6.1 billion.

Gou ranked 228th on the Forbes list, up from 240th last year.

Hon Hai, known as Foxconn outside Taiwan, is the world’s largest contract electronics maker whose main client is Apple.

A total of 25 Taiwanese entrepreneurs made it onto Forbes’ list of 1,810 billionaires, down from 38 last year, according to Forbes.

The leading Taiwanese on the list after Tsai and Gou was Lin Yu-lin (林堉璘), head of property developer Hong Tai Group, with US$5 billion in net worth, ranking him 270th in the world.

Barry Lam (林百里), chairman of the world’s largest notebook computer contract maker, Quanta Computer, came in fourth among Taiwanese and 549th globally with a net worth totaling US$3.1 billion.

Cheng Shin Rubber Industry Co chairman Luo Jye (羅結) was ranked fifth among Taiwanese and 569th in the world on the Forbes billionaire list with a net worth of US$3 billion.

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