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Ikea founder Kamprad tops Swiss rich list

Meritxell Mir · 2 Dec 2011, 10:55

Published: 02 Dec 2011 11:38 GMT+01:00
Updated: 02 Dec 2011 10:55 GMT+01:00

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Sweden's Ingvar Kamprad, founder of furniture chain Ikea, remains Switzerland richest resident for the tenth year running, according to an annual ranking by business magazine Bilanz.  

With assets valued at 35-36 billion francs ($38-39 billion), Kamprad's flatpack fortune puts him way out on top of the list of the country's 300 wealthiest people and families.

The accumulated wealth of the 300 richest people in Switzerland amounts to 481 billion francs ($525 billion), a figure that would more than suffice to pay off Greece’s rampant debt. The most recent BIS Quarterly Review put the Greek debt at $485 billion.

Coming in a distant second are the Swiss Hoffmann and Oeri families, who control the pharmaceutical company Roche and have combined assets worth 13-14 billion francs ($14-15 billion).

In third place is the German-Dutch Brenninkmeijer family, which owes its 12-13 billion franc ($13-14 billion) fortune mainly to the clothing company C&A, but also to its real estate business and investments in energy firms.

This year, 16 new people edged their way onto the exclusive Bilanz list, an honour reserved only for those with a net worth of at least 100 million francs.

Together the newcomers account for a total of 26.1 billion francs ($28.4 billion), the magazine reports.

Only two of the new  entrants are Swiss, with the rest attracted by the relative stability of the Swiss currency and economy as well as the country's favourable tax regime. In all, half of the people in the ranking hail from countries outside Switzerland.

In terms of the distribution of this enormous wealth, three percent of the 300 people on the list account for 25 percent of the total 481 billion ($525 billion) francs.

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The total amount amassed by the 300 richest people residing in Switzerland is 11 billion francs higher than in 2010.

Only the United States currently has more billionaires than Switzerland, Bilanz reports, with every tenth billionaire in the world happy to call the Alpine nation home.

Meritxell Mir (news@thelocal.ch)

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