Rich List 2017 tops $230 billion mark

Financial Review Rich List 2017 tops $230 billion mark


Anthony Pratt is one of three $10 billion-plus level Rich Listers in 2017. Nic Walker

Anthony Pratt is one of three $10 billion-plus level Rich Listers in 2017. Nic Walker

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The top 10 wealthiest Australians are worth about $75 billion alone, the 2017 Rich List reveals.

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Australia is in the middle of a wealth boom.

A surging property market, a comeback for manufacturing, strengthening iron ore prices and high performers in the technology and financial services industries has pushed the total wealth on the Financial Review Rich List to a record $233 billion.

The top 10 wealthiest Australians are worth about $75 billion alone, while the average wealth for the 200 list members is a whopping $1.16 billion, the 2017 Rich List reveals.

Anthony Pratt tops the Rich List with record personal wealth of $12.6 billion and is one of three billionaires worth more than $10 billion – a first in the list's 34-year history.

He leads the record 60 billionaires on the list, including new billionaires such as Canberra Airport owner Terry Snow, Gretel Packer and Queensland property developer Maha Sinnathamby.

Mr Pratt is joined on the $10 billion-plus level by both Harry Triguboff and Gina Rinehart, worth $11.45 billion and $10.41 billion respectively.

There are 10 debutants, including the youngest new name in 33-year old Owen Kerr. He is in position 200 with wealth of $342 million, from his stake in foreign exchange broker Pepperstone.

The $342 million cut-off mark is a record for the list.

Mr Pratt, the head of the Visy Industries cardboard box manufacturing and recycling empire in Australia and Pratt Industries in the United States, tops the list for the first time since 2009.

His wealth, and that of Mr Triguboff and Mrs Rinehart, rose a combined $7.5 billion thanks to Mr Pratt's continued success in the US, Mr Triguboff's domination of the Sydney apartments market and the rising iron ore price for Mrs Rinehart.

"Money is a great scoreboard of success, or one of them," Mr Pratt told The Australian Financial Review when discussing his ascent to the No.1 position. "It's a great honour."

Mr Triguboff, who was No.1 on the list last year, said Mr Pratt deserved to top the list. "He is doing a very good job and I am very impressed with him," the property magnate said.

Westfield supremo Frank Lowy is fourth on the list with $8.26 billion wealth, the same as last year, while Glencore chief executive Ivan Glasenberg is fifth at $6.85 billion.

While he lives in Switzerland, Mr Glasenberg has Australian citizenship after working for the resources trading giant in Australia as the head of Glencore's Asian coal commodity division in the 1980s.

Doubling of wealth

Big movers on the list include Fortescue Metals Group chairman Andrew Forrest, who announced a huge $400 million donation this week. Mr Forrest's wealth, primarily in FMG shares but also via extensive agricultural holdings, has doubled in the past year.

Mr Forrest is sixth on the list with $6.84 billion wealth, ahead of Melbourne shopping centre magnate John Gandel on $6.1 billion at No.7. Mr Gandel owns half of the huge Chadstone Shopping Centre.

Eighth is Hong-Kong based Hui Wang Mau, who holds most of his wealth in the Hong Kong-listed Shimao Property Group but has Australian citizenship after studying for an MBA at the University of South Australia in the early 1990s. His fortune is $6 billion.

Rounding out the top 10 is Crown Resorts director and major shareholder James Packer, who has $4.75 billion wealth that is now mostly held in Crown shares, and Perth billionaire Stan Perron.

Mr Perron, 94, is the oldest billionaire on the Rich List and has wealth of $3.9 billion. He has had a bumper 12 months with his Perron Investments making a net profit of $244 million in 2016 and holding $2.44 billion in net assets such as commercial property, airports and shopping centres.

The Financial Review Rich List is published in full today in The Australian Financial Review Magazine

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