Forbes has released its list of the world’s richest people, and according to the company, the ranks of the world’s billionaires continues to set new records and stretch to new corners of the globe.
Forbes says it found 1,645 billionaires, worth an aggregate US$6.4 trillion, up $1 trillion from last year. A record 268 new billionaires were unearthed, including 42 women this year, both new records.
While Bill Gates, the ex-CEO of Microsoft, is back on top of the list, with his wealth estimated at US$76 billion.
Australia has its fair share of billionaires and here are the top ten richest people in the country.
- Gina Rinehart with an estimate wealth of US$17.7 billion leads the way, thanks to her investments in iron ore and coal through Hancock Prospecting. Overall, Miss Rinehart ranks 46 in the world.
- James Packer is in second place, with an estimate net worth of US%6.5 billion, thanks mainly to his gaming interests in Crown Limited (ASX: CWN).
- Ivan Glasenberg, someone many people will be unfamiliar with, is in third place. Mr Glasenberg is estimated to be worth US$6.3 billion, thanks largely to his 8.3% stake in commodities trader and mining giant Glencore Xstrata.
- Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest, chairman and founder of Fortescue Metals Group (ASX: FMG) is ranked fourth in Australia, and 270 in the world with an estimated worth of US$5.2 billion.
- Property developer Harry Triguboff is ranked fifth, with his fortune estimated at US$5 billion.
- Another property legend, Frank Lowy comes in at sixth place, accruing his wealth from his shopping centres and Westfield Holdings (ASX: WDC), estimated at US$4.7 billion.
- John Gandel is another shopping mall billionaire, estimated to be worth US$3.4 billion.
- Kerr Neilson, founder of Platinum Asset Management (ASX: PTM) and renowned stock picker, is estimated to be worth US$3 billion.
- Anthony Pratt comes in at number 9, with a US$3 billion net worth, after inheriting packaging business Visy from his billionaire father, Richard Pratt, and expanding the business.
- Paul Ramsay, chairman and biggest shareholder in Ramsay Health Care (ASX: RHC) is also worth an estimated $3 billion. Mr Ramsay recently sold his 30% stake in Prime Media Group (ASX: PRT) for around $95 million.