Australia’s rich list revealed
CARDBOARD box tycoon Anthony Pratt has topped the list of Australia's richest people in 2018 with a record personal wealth of $12.9 billion.
Property developer Harry Triguboff came in second on the 2018 Australian Financial Review Rich List with a record fortune of $12.77 billion, followed by mining magnate Gina Rinehart on $12.68 billion.
Mr Pratt's rising wealth comes both from the Visy cardboard box manufacturing and recycling empire, and the strong growth of Pratt Industries in the US, with the companies more than doubling in size since 2009.
The highest-ranked new entrant to the list is "mystery" billionaire Vivek Sehgah, the founder of India's largest car parts manufacturer Motherson Sumi. Mr Sehgah's personal wealth of $5.88 billion places him ninth on the list.
"Less clear is the rationale for his Australian citizenship," Rich List editor John Stensholt wrote earlier this week. "Though some clues can be gleaned from records lodged with corporate regulators in Australia and abroad.
"Paperwork lodged with the Securities and Exchange Commission several years ago lists Australian as Mr Sehgal's nationality, while documents for a fundraising in India led by the local office of JPMorgan confirm that not only is Mr Sehgal an Australian citizen, but he also 'does not have an Indian-voter identification card'."
Hong Kong-based property tycoon Hui Wang Mau was fourth on the list with $9.09 billion. He holds Australian citizenship after studying for an MBA at the University of South Australia in the 1990s. His wealth is derived from the Hong Kong-listed Shimao Propery and extensive rural investments in Australia.
Retailer Frank Lowy rounded out the top five with $8.42 billion courtesy of shopping centre giant Westfield, which was acquired by Paris-based property group Unibail-Rodamco in a $32 billion takeover deal approved by shareholders on Thursday.
The total wealth of the Rich List was $282.7 billion, up from $233.1 billion last year, and it was only the second year in its 35-year history that three names had wealth above $10 billion. The average wealth per person was a record $1.41 billion. There were 19 women on the list, including eight female billionaires.
The 76 billionaires on the list is also a record, up from 60 last year, with the lowest-ranked fortune of $387 million the highest ever, up from $341 million last year.
Among the 12 new names were Sydney hospitality kingpin Justin Hemmes with a wealth of $961 million, while departures included the late Ron Walker and advertising mogul Harold Mitchell.
The combined wealth of the top five male Rich Listers was more than double the combined wealth of the top five females, totalling $46 billion compared to $18.37 billion. Of the 200 people on the list, 51 made most of their money in the property sector, compared with 22 from retail and 21 from investment.