Monday 18 December 2017

Few Irish surprises on new 'Forbes' Rich List

Dermot Desmond
Dermot Desmond
Denis O'Brien
Ailish O'Hora

Ailish O'Hora

Billionaire Irish businessmen Denis O'Brien, Dermot Desmond and Martin Naughton all made this year's 'Forbes' Rich List.

Mr O'Brien, who owns the Digicel telecoms giant, ranks 233 in the list of the world's wealthiest people with a net worth of $5.2bn (€3.9bn) as of March 2013. He also has a range of media interests and is the biggest shareholder in Independent News & Media.

The founder of heating equipment group Glen Dimplex, Martin Naughton, is listed at 736 and is valued at $2bn, while financier Dermot Desmond ranks at 831 with a net worth of $1.8bn.

Pallonji Mistri, who is patriarch of Indian construction giant Shapoorji Pallonji, tops the list of Irish – he is ranked at 103 with a value of $10.5bn.

His family have also long been the biggest shareholders in Tata Sons.

He is an Irish citizen as is Campbell Soup executive John Dorrance who sits at 613 on the list with a net worth of $2.4bn.

The richest man in the world is, again, Mexican telecoms billionaire Carlos Slim with a net worth of $73bn. He is followed by Bill Gates who is the richest man in the US.

The biggest gainer this year is Amancio Ortego, of Zara fame, who moved into the number three position for the first time, knocking out Warren Buffett who, despite adding $9.5bn to his worth, falls to fourth.

In geographical terms, the US led on the list with 442 billionaires compared with 366 in Europe, while growth in the wealth of the richest was down to stronger stock market and international property price performance, 'Forbes' said.

Investor Warren Buffett kept his place as America's second richest man with $58.5bn, while Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison stayed third with $41bn. According to 'Forbes', the 400 Americans on the annual list posted a combined net worth of $2 trillion, up from $1.7tn a year ago. That marks their highest combined value ever. The average wealth of the list's members rose to $5bn, the highest ever, up from $4.2bn in 2012.

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