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.  

"/> 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.  

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WEALTH

Ikea founder Kamprad tops Swiss rich list

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.  

Ikea founder Kamprad tops Swiss rich list
Hasse Karlsson (File)

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.

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.

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WEALTH

Is this why you should move to Switzerland?

Switzerland offers the highest standard of living in Europe, a new study shows. Here's why.

Is this why you should move to Switzerland?
File photo: AFP

It's no secret that wages are high in Switzerland, but so are the costs.

Zurich and Geneva, along with London, are the only European cities to come out more expensive than New York City, a study published on Thursday by US-based economic research firm Glassdoor shows.  

But the report also shows the country offers the best standard of living in Europe – even after factoring in the high price of renting, food and transport.

Nominal wages in Switzerland are €72,000 (79,000 Swiss francs), higher than second place-getter Norway (€61,000) and bronze medal winner Denmark (€56,000), according to the report.

At the other end of the scale are Estonia, where nominal wages are €13,000, Portugal (€15,500) and Greece €18,500.

A comparison of purchasing power parity, meanwhile, shows average wages in Switzerland, Ireland, and Norway are equivalent to around €42,000. That’s twice as high as the figure for Estonia.

SEE ALSO: The 'richest' regions in Switzerland 

Taking it one step further, once tax is taken into account, Switzerland still comes out top.

“What matters ultimately for standard of living is the gap between take-home pay and price levels. Switzerland and Denmark take the top two spots,” the report’s authors show.

In fact, average city-based workers in Switzerland can afford to buy twice as much as workers in New York, the study concludes.

Another 2015 study carried out by Swiss bank UBS showed that residents of the cities of Zurich and Geneva had both the highest purchasing power and the highest wages in the world.

That same study found, however, that Zurich was the second most expensive city in the world behind New York City while Geneva was the world’s third priciest city.