Ho Ching among Forbes' top 50 most powerful women in the world

Ho Ching among Forbes' top 50 most powerful women in the world

SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's wife, Ms Ho Ching, is the 43rd most powerful woman in the world, according to Forbes' 12th annual World's 100 Most Powerful Women 2015 list.

The 62-year-old, who is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Temasek Holdings, moved up from 59th spot last year. Ms Ho has been on Forbes' World's 100 Most Powerful Women every year since it began in 2004.

According to Forbes, she guided Temasek Holdings to a US$162 billion (S$218 billion) portfolio last year and oversaw the "most active year for new investments since 2007". Ms Ho has been with the company for 13 years and was appointed CEO in 2004.

On Tuesday (May 26), Forbes released the names of the world's most powerful women in eight categories: Technology, politics, business, finance, media, entertainment, philanthropy and billionaires.

Other notable Asian names who are in the top 40 include China's First Lady Peng Liyuan (68th), President of South Korea Park Geun-hye (11th) and CEO of Ant Financial Services in Alibaba Group, Lucy Peng (33rd).

Finishing in first place this year for the fifth consecutive time and 10 times in total is German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and philanthropist Melinda Gates, the co-chair of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation fell behind Merkel in second and third places respectively.

In addition to the list, Forbes included 19 newcomers this year. They include 25-year-old pop singer Taylor Swift who was ranked 64th and is the youngest person on the annual list. Other newcomers include Guardian Editor-in-Chief Jenny Lee (98th) and Prime Minister of Poland Katharine Viner (80th).

This year's power women control nearly US$1 trillion (S$1.35 trillion) in annual revenues and the 100 women on the list have a combined social media footprint of 474 million Twitter and YouTube followers.

Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, ex-supermodel Gisele Bundchen and American singer Lady Gaga were among the dropouts from the list.

stephluo@sph.com.sg

For the full list, go to www.forbes.com/power-women.

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