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Philippines' Billionaires Poorer By $3 Billion
« on: October 23, 2008, 03:17:15 PM »
By Suzanne Nam
Forbes Magazine

The Philippines is feeling the global downturn; its stock exchange is down 35% in the past 12 months. GDP is now expected to be up just 4.4% in 2008, versus a 7.2% jump last year. Its 40 richest are worth a total of $14 billion, down from $17 billion in 2007 and $16 billion in 2006. This year 25 tycoons are poorer, including a number of them in real estate and banking.

Big losers include Senate President Manuel Villar, whose net worth plunged 55% to $425 million, and Filinvest Land's Andrew Gotianun, who lost $625 million, three-fourths of his worth. Last year's richest, Jaime Zobel de Ayala, was the biggest loser, down $800 million, as the stock of his conglomerate, Ayala Corp., slipped 46%.

Ayala and at least half a dozen other companies backed by the nation's richest--including Gotianun's Filinvest Land, John Gokongwei's Universal Robina and the Hortalezas' Splash--have bought back shares in recent months.

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