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Sunday 21 September 2014

Three Irish businessmen on 'Forbes' billionaire list

Published 05/03/2013 | 05:00

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Denis O'Brien

Three Irish-born businessmen – telecoms mogul Denis O'Brien, Glen Dimplex founder Martin Naughton and investor Dermot Desmond – are among the billionaires in the latest 'Forbes' round-up of the world's wealthiest people.

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Mexican businessman Carlos Slim has retained the title of the globe's richest person, with a $73bn (€56.1bn) fortune.

Mr O'Brien, who sold Esat and now owns mobile firm Digicel, has a $5.2bn (€4bn) fortune, which puts him as number 233 in the world's rich list, according to the magazine.

Mr Desmond, who made a fortune from buying and selling assets such as London City Airport, has a $1.8bn fortune and is listed at number 831.

Mr Naughton is at number 736, with a $2bn fortune having been massed from his ownership of electrical appliance firm Glen Dimplex.

Irish citizen Pallonji Mistry, who has wealth valued at $9.7bn, largely from a share in India's Tata Group, is number 96 on the list.

John Dorrance III, the grandson of the founder of Campbell Soup, comes in at 521 with an estimated wealth of $2.4bn.

The top 10 people on the 'Forbes' latest round-up of the world's richest have amassed fortunes worth a combined $451.5bn (€347bn).

That's more than the gross domestic product of countries such as Argentina, the United Arab Emirates, Denmark and Hong Kong, according to World Bank data. It's also more than twice the $217bn gross domestic product recorded by Ireland in 2011.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates is in second place with a $67bn fortune, while the Spanish founder of fashion chain Zara, Amancio Ortega, is in third place with a $57bn nest egg.

'Forbes' points out that Mr Ortega is the biggest gainer on its rich list this year, with his fortune having ballooned by an astounding $19.5bn in just a year.

At age 76, he stepped down as chairman of Zara's parent firm Inditex in 2011 but still controls 60pc of the shares. Legendary investor Warren Buffett, the 'Sage of Omaha', is at number four, worth $53.5bn.

His firm, Berkshire Hathaway, pounced on ketchup-maker Heinz recently, teaming up with Brazilian billionaire Jorge Paulo Lemann's 3G Capital to buy it for $23.2bn.

Facebook's founder Mark Zuckerberg has suffered a calamitous decline in his standing. In 2013 Zuckerberg slipped back to 66th as a result of the collapse of Facebook shares with his fortune shrinking by $4bn to $13.3bn.

Irish Independent

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