Finance and Insurance

Shipping tycoons among the annual Hurun Global Rich List

Among the top 500 in the annual Hurun Global Rich List published earlier this month there’s a solid smattering of shipping-related personalities. The list, created by China-based Hurun Report, details all of the world’s billionaires – 2,257 in total who together are worth $8trn, more than the GDPs of France and Germany.

In terms of shipping-related people within the top 500, in joint 32nd position with $25bn to his name is Hong Kong’s Li Ka-shing, whose range of interests include retail, property, telecoms and terminals in the form of Hutchison Port Holdings.

Lakshmi Mittal, who heads up steel mill ArcelorMittal, is in 98th spot with $12bn. Mittal’s connection to maritime is via subsidiary Arcelormittal Shipping, which was founded in 1995. As well as owning a number of panamaxes and capes, it is a very active charterer. Last year it pounced for a pair of capesizes.

One billion dollars behind the steel magnate is Norway’s John Fredriksen who had a tumultuous 2016, with his fishing investments propping up losses in shipping and offshore.

Listed with $10bn is Klaus-Michael Kuhne, the chairman at logistics giant Kuhne + Nagel as well as a key investor in Hamburg-based containerline Hapag-Lloyd.

Up next is Mickey Arison from Carnival Cruises who is listed in joint 165th with $7.9bn

Zodiac Group’s Eyal Offer and the Maersk McKinney Moller family are side by side in the billionaire chart, both on $6.6bn, while Merlin Swire and family are a billion behind. As well as airline Cathay Pacific, the Swires are behind a number of shipping lines including China Navigation.

Bringing up the rear within the top 500 is Dennis Washington of Seaspan fame on $5bn.

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett lead the pack with $81bn and $78bn respectively, but Amazon ‘s Jeff Bezos is catching up quick. Hurun said his net worth jumped 37% last year to $72bn. Amazon last year dipped its toe into the world of shipping becoming an NVOCC.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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