The Wei brothers of Ting Hsin International Group, a large food and beverage conglomerate in Taiwan, replaced Terry Gou (郭台銘), founder of Taiwanese manufacturing giant Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., as the richest people in the country, according to Forbes.
In the latest Forbes Taiwan's 50 Richest list. released Wednesday (Jan. 15), the magazine said the Wei brothers -- Wei Ing-chou (魏應州), Wei Ying-chiao (魏應交), Wei Yin-chun (魏應充), Wei Ying-heng (魏應行) -- jointly took the top spot on the list, moving up one notch from the last report released in November 2018, with their combined net worth US$7.2 billion in January, little changed from the last report.
But Gou, who in June stepped down from the chairmanship at the iPhone assembler Hon Hai, also known as Foxconn in the global market, saw his place drop from first to fourth place because his net worth fell to US$6.9 billion from US$7.3 billion.
Brothers Tsai Hong-tu (蔡宏圖) and Tsai Cheng-ta (蔡政達) of Cathay Financial Holding Co., one of the largest financial groups in Taiwan, meanwhile, took the second spot with their combined net worth at US$7.1 billion, ahead of Tsai Eng-meng (蔡衍明) of Want Want China, another food conglomerate, who had a net worth of US$7.0 billion.
According to Forbes, Tsai Eng-meng is the biggest individual gainer in U.S. dollar terms on the latest rich list as his net worth rose by US$1.4 billion to boost his position on the list by two notches.
The magazine said Want Want benefited from a fall in raw material prices so it saw its bottom line improving in the first half of this year at a time of global trade disputes.
Daniel Tsai (蔡明忠) and Richard Tsai (蔡明興) of Fubon Group, another large financial institution in Taiwan, came in fourth with a combined net worth of US$5.7 billion, ahead of Jason Chang (張虔生) and Richard Chang (張洪本) of ASE Group, the largest integrated circuit packaging and testing services provider in the world, with an accumulated net worth of US$4.6 billion.
Barry Lam (林百里), chairman of contract notebook computer maker Quanta Computer Inc., took the seventh spot with a net worth of US$4.3 percent, followed by Pierre Chen (陳泰銘), founder and chief executive officer of electronics component maker Yageo Corp (US$3.8 billion); Lin Shu-hong (林書鴻), head of petrochemical conglomerate Chang Chun Group (US$3.75 billion); and Scott Lin (林耀英), founder of Largan Precision Co., a supplier of smartphone camera lenses to Apple Inc. (US$2.9 billion).
According to Forbes, net worth figures on the latest list were calculated based on stock prices and exchange rates as of the close of markets on Jan. 3, while private companies were valued by their financial ratios and other comparisons which were similar with those of publicly traded companies.
The magazine said Taiwan's 50 richest saw their total net worth increase by 7.7 percent in the latest Forbes Taiwan Rich List with their aggregate net worth rising to US$112 billion from US$104 billion since fortunes were last measured in November 2018.
The magazine said the increase appeared modest compared with the benchmark weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, which rose more than 22 percent over the same period.