Finance Finance News High-rise Harry climbs to top of rich list, Gina slides

High-rise Harry climbs to top of rich list, Gina slides

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Property developers are on the rise in the annual BRW rich list, with Meriton’s Harry Triguboff climbing to top spot, while mining magnates dropped down the rankings.

Gina Rinehart fell from the top spot in the annual BRW Rich 200 list for the first time in five years, as the apartment developer nicknamed “High-rise Harry” elevated himself to first place with a record $10.62 billion in wealth   .

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Mr Triguboff – the founder, owner and head of Meriton Group – saw his wealth jump as Australia’s apartment building boom helped push Meriton’s value higher.

Real estate magnates and developers dominated this year’s list, with 54 having made most of their money in the property sector, while many others in the top 200 poured proceeds from their main industries into property development or management.

However, there are increasing warnings that the boom driving their wealth is coming to an end.

Mining bust sees mineral magnates fall down list

There was evidence on this year’s rich list that the mining boom has turned to bust.

Bianca Rinehart has taken some of her mother’s wealth. Photo: AAP

Mrs Rinehart placed fourth, as her wealth fell from $14.02 billion last year to $6.06 billion, on the back of a slump in iron ore prices and as daughter Bianca Rinehart took control of 23 per cent of Hancock Prospecting after a legal dispute in 2015.

Bianca Rinehart ranked number 60, with $905 million.

Fortescue founder Andrew Forrest was another casualty of the downturn in resources, seeing his wealth drop to $3.3 billion, around half what it was during the last commodity upswing.

Glencore’s Ivan Glasenberg also saw his wealth fall steeply during the mining bust, and is sitting level with ‘Twiggy’ on this year’s list.

Mineralogy owner and Federal MP Clive Palmer was noticeably absent from Queensland’s top five wealthiest, missing the $943 million cut-off to make that club.

Rounding out the national top five were: Anthony Pratt, chairman of Visy and Pratt Industries who came in second with $10.36 billion; Frank Lowy, the chairman of Westfield, at $8.26 billion; and property developer John Gandel, whose wealth rose $1 billion to $5.4 billion, the largest rise on the list.

Record 53 billionaires on list

This year’s list contains the most billionaires with 53, making up 26.5 per cent of Australia’s wealthiest 200 people.

The nation’s wealthiest 200 between them controlled $197.3 billion in assets, up just 2 per cent on last year’s total.

James Packer’s wealth suffered from a falling Crown share price. Photo: AAP

The highest-ranked debutant was toy creator Manny Stul, who owns Moose Toys, coming in at 39, helped by the globally popular toy line Shopkins.

The tiny collectable food figurines with smiley faces topped US toy sales in 2015.

Jonathan Munz debuted at 50 with $1.07 billion after his family floated Reliance Worldwide Corporation, a plumbing manufacturer.

Meanwhile, James Packer suffered a fall in wealth to $5 billion, losing more than $1 billion because of a falling share price for his casino business Crown Resorts.

The BRW Rich 200 was first produced in 1984 and ranks by net worth Australia’s 200 richest families and individuals.

Business Review Weekly was a business magazine published by Fairfax.

BRW became an online-only publication in 2013, and the website was closed in March, but rich lists continue to carry the BRW branding.


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