This story appears in the August 2022 issue of Forbes Asia. Subscribe to Forbes Asia
Manuel Zamora Jr. (left) and Philip Ang
This story is part of Forbes’ coverage of Philippines’ Richest 2022. See the full list here.
Higher ore prices and a global nickel shortage weren’t enough to burnish the fortunes of metal tycoons Manuel Zamora Jr. and Philip Ang, who derive their wealth from stakes in the Philippines’ largest nickel producer Nickel Asia. After rising over 50% earlier this year on strong earnings, shares gave back the gains as higher inflation and global interest rates hikes hit Philippine stocks. Zamora— who founded Nickel Asia—fell one spot on the list to No. 32 with a net worth of $430 million. Ang moved down the list four spots to No. 49 with a $190 million fortune.
The surging price of nickel —a key component in stainless steel and electric vehicle batteries—drove up Nickel Asia’s net profit by 41% to 3.8 billion pesos ($67 million) in the first six months from a year earlier on a 7% jump in revenue to 11.8 billion pesos. Another bright spot: Global consumption is expected to continue to rise over the next five years, according to data platform Knoema.
The company, meanwhile, is expanding its solar business through subsidiary Emerging Power as part of a pivot toward renewables. It expects to increase capacity of its Subic Bay Freeport Zone project to 100 megawatts this year, and sealed a deal with Britain’s Shell Group to develop 1 gigawatt of renewable energy projects in the Philippines by 2028.
The moves represent “a new vision for our future,” said Nickel Asia president and CEO Martin Zamora in March. His father, Manuel, previously chairman emeritus, was appointed a board advisor last year. Ang, who stepped down as Nickel Asia’s vice chairman in June, is also a board advisor.