Graeme Hart, owner of famous global packaging company Reynolds Group Holdings, moves up the Forbes list

Tuesday, Mar 04, 2014

            After having added $2 billion to his net worth in 2013, Graeme Hart, New Zealand's wealthiest man, has moved up the Forbes list of the world's richest people . Forbes announced the new ranking of the Kiwi billionaire overnight, says The Herald.

            Mr Hart's new net worth is estimated to be US$7 billion or NZ$8.36 billion after his global packaging company, Reynolds Group Holdings, has amassed several acquisitions. The international empire is now estimated to generate annual revenues of $14 billion. The richest New Zealander is also the owner of Carter Holt Harvey.

            In the mean time, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is back on top of the list as the world's richest man after overtaking the Mexican telecom tycoon, Carlos Slim Helu. In Mr Gates' 4-year hiatus, Mr Helu topped the Forbes list in the past four years. Mr Gates has been on top of the list in 15 of the past 20 years. Mr Gates has an estimated worth of US$76 billion followed by Mr Helu in the second place at 72 billion. Maintaining third place is Amancio Ortega, the owner of popular Zara retail chain. He is ahead of billionaire investor Warren Buffet who is in fourth overall while Larry Ellison of Oracle ranked fifth in Forbes wealthiest people list. According to Forbes, there were 1,645 billionaires who made it to the 2014 list with an average worth of $4.7 billion. More people became richer in 2014 compared to 1,426 billionaires in 2013. Total net worth has also increased to $6.4 trillion from $5.4 trillion in 2013. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook co-founder, bagged the biggest gain in net worth. He has doubled his wealth to $28.5 billion because of an increase in the social media company's stock valuation. Forbes' 28th annual list of richest people had over 10 per cent of women with Christy Walton, heiress of Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the highest-ranking female at ninth place overall. Tech company founders were also well-represented with Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Berin leading the pack at 17th and 19th place while Amazon's Jeff Bezos ranked 18th place on the list.