Tsai’s weekend win was aided by concerns over mainland Chinese influence that spilled over from long-drawn anti-establishment protests in Hong Kong and her pro-growth policies are expected to continue. Tsai’s win was a dramatic turnaround from end-2018 when the independence-leaning DPP lost several important cities in mayoral elections partly attributed to unpopular reforms in the state pension system. Since end-2018, Tsai has shifted her agenda from one focusing on social reforms to a pro-growth one, which has helped the economy at an opportune time for her administration. Taiwan posted 2.91% on-year GDP growth in the third quarter of 2019, bucking the sluggish trend displayed by trade reliant Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong.
Taiwan’s 50 richest saw an increase of 7.7% in their total net worth. Their cumulative net worth rose to US$112 billion from $104 billion since fortunes were last measured in November 2018. The gain was modest compared with Taiwan’s benchmark stock index, which rose more than 22% over the same period.
The Wei brothers, Ing-chou, Ying-chiao, Yin-chun and Yin-heng, of food and beverage giant Tingyi, jointly take the top spot with a combined net worth of $7.2 billion. The brothers replace Terry Gou of Hon Hai Precision (Foxconn) who drops to No. 4 as his net worth declined to $6.9 billion from $7.3 billion.
Brothers Tsai Hong-tu and Cheng-ta of Cathay Financial Holding rank No. 2 with a combined net worth of $7.1 billion. Tsai Eng-meng of snack maker Want Want China is the biggest individual gainer in dollar terms on this year’s list. He added $1.4 billion to his fortune as lower raw material prices boosted his company’s earnings in the first half of the year. He rises two spots to No. 3 with a net worth of $7 billion.
Wu Li-gann (No. 32) is the biggest gainer in percentage terms. His wealth surged more than 138% to $1.36 billion as shares in his WUS Printed Circuit more than doubled in anticipation of China’s 5G rollout. Tsai Ming-kai (No. 35, $1.3 billion) saw his fortune rise 80% on share gains at his company MediaTek, a developer of 5G chips.
Below, the top 10 richest peole in Twain*:
*The minimum amount required to make the list was $590 million, up from $530 million previously.
AT A GLANCE