Rinehart Named World’s Richest Woman
BRW magazine’s latest rich list has just recently named Gina Rinehart as the richest woman in the world and Australia’s wealthiest person.
BRW’s 2012 Rich 200 list estimated Australian mining magnate’s wealth to have nearly tripled in the past year to $29.17 billion.
Parlaying a family fortune into Australia’s resources boom like no-one else, Ms Rinehart’s wealth has ballooned by an unparalleled $18.87 billion in the past year.
Equating to $598 every second or $1,077,054 every 30 minutes or almost $52 million every day, Ms Rinehart’s $29 billion mining fortune has roared past reigning global queen Christy Walton by $3 billion.
Christy Walton is the widow of John Walton whose reputed Forbes’ calculated wealth of $26 billion comes from inherited wealth from US retail giant Wal-Mart.
Walton has held the top spot on Forbes’ list for the past seven years while Rinehart has topped the magazine’s Australian Rich 200 List for the second year running.
It has only been 20 years ago since Ms. Rinehart debuted on the list with a relatively paltry net wealth of $75 million, after the death of her father, Lang Hancock, in 1992.
Now, according to BRW’s 2012 Rich 200, Ms. Rinehart’s personal fortune has rocketed to $29.17 billion, surpassing Forbes magazine’s calculation of Walton’s net worth of $US25.3 billion ($25.89 billion).
All the more impressive is that for Ms. Rinehart, it was only a year ago that she had catapulted herself to the top of Australia’s rich with a mining fortune of $10.3 billion, which is the first time an Australian’s wealth had ever been calculated at more than $10 billion.
BRW Rich List editor Andrew Heathcote said Ms. Rinehart’s meteoric rise has made her a serious contender for becoming the world’s richest person.
To do this, Ms. Rinehart would have to surpass Mexican telecommunications mogul Carlos Slim Helu’s fortune assessed at $69 billion, which according to Heathcote, the iron ore price recovery in the past six months as well as the foreign investment in new projects which has driven Ms. Rinehart’s growth will make a $100 billion valuation for her out of the question within a few years.
Mr. Heathcote said, “If the demand for natural resources remains strong, additional multi-billion mines is almost inevitable,” and further added, “There is a real possibility that Rinehart will become not just the richest woman in the world but the richest person in the world.”
Perth-born billionaire Rinehart’s meteoric rise has also threatened the lower rungs of Forbes’ 10 richest people in the world, including Microsoft’s Bill Gates, whose fortunes are valued at $US61 billion.
Apart from the West Australian billionaire Ms Rinehart, many on this year’s rich list veterans have had a difficult year, with 104 having their wealth leveled by global uncertainty.
Meanwhile, despite being the largest shareholder of Fairfax Media with a 12.6 per cent stake, Ms. Rinehart at present has been unable to join the board of the media company, Fairfax, which publishes BRW magazine.
Ms/ Rinehart’s push for a seat was ignored by Fairfax Media and instead Fairfax appoints former Ernst & Young chief executive James Millar.
Published in : BRW.COM.AU