News National Record number of Australian billionaires

Record number of Australian billionaires

The iron ore rebound is sure to have Ms Rinehart grinning, but not litigation whispers. Photo: AAP
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The property boom and a hot share market have helped Australia’s rich get richer, with the nation now boasting a record 49 billionaires.

An extra 10 billionaires have been added to the latest BRW 200 Rich list, including retail magnate Brett Blundy and Greg Goodman, son of Goodman Fielder co-founder Sir Patrick Goodman.

BRW Rich 200 editor John Stensholt says the newly minted billionaires have benefited from a rise in the value of their shareholdings.

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“The share market has had a good run and has tipped some of them who were worth about $800 or $900 million last year over the billion dollar mark,” he said.

“The share market and the property sector are both running hot.

“It’s only been mining that has caused a few people to lose some wealth.”

Mr Blundy has had a dream run on the share market, with his net worth surging after he floated his jewellery chain Lovisa in December 2014.

He is the list’s 44th-richest Australian with $1.086 billion to his name, while Mr Goodman’s industrial property empire, Goodman Group, has pushed his family wealth to $1.015 billion, ranking him 48th richest.

Falls in commodity prices, in particular iron ore, have chipped away at the fortunes of mining magnates Gina Rinehart and Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest.

Ms Rinehart remains Australia’s richest person despite her wealth dipping nearly $6 billion to $14.02 billion.

News of her retaining the top listing coincided with her daughter Bianca being awarded control of the multi-billion dollar family trust by the NSW Supreme Court on Thursday.

Mr Forrest, who ranks ninth richest, also saw his wealth shrink from $5.86 billion to $2.83 billion as the value of shares in his Fortescue Metals mining company tumbled in line with iron ore prices.

Casino mogul James Packer slipped down the rankings from third to seventh place, with his wealth falling by more than $1 billion to $6.08 billion following a drop in Crown Resorts’ share price.

TPG Telecom co-founder Vicky Teoh, who with her husband David have a combined $2.31 billion, is the second richest woman on the list.

Among the top five wealthy women are Leonie Baldock and Alexandra Burt, daughters of the late Michael Wright, the son of prospector Peter, the one-time business partner of Ms Rinehart’s father Lang Hancock.

The nation’s richest

1. Gina Rinehart $14.018b
2. Packaging magnate Anthony Pratt $10.8b
3. Property mogul Harry Triguboff $10.2b
4. Westfield chairman Frank Lowy $7.84b
5. Property mogul Hui Wing Mau $6.89b

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