Who will soon be the wealthiest person in the world?
No, it’s not Warren Buffet, nor Bill Gates, nor Mark Zuckerberg, nor Oprah Winfrey.
It’s someone you probably never heard of.
According to various reports, Gina Rinehart, an Australian mining executive, is one the verge of becoming the richest person on the planet.
Rinehart, chairman of Hancock Prospecting (the company she inherited from her father twenty years ago) has already seen her worth double to £6.8 billion [$10.3-billion (Aus.), or $10.75 (U.S.)] in just the past year alone due to the massive commodity boom in Australia,
But, that’s just peanuts relative to what she might soon be worth, according to Citigroup, which estimates that her overall wealth will mushroom through the development of three coal and iron ore projects. Citigroup explains that because she owns the companies outright and has no shareholders to answer to, the revenues these companies generate will pole-vault her ahead of such global giants as Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim (who is worth £46 billion) and the Microsoft boss Bill Gates (£35 billion).
“If Rinehart was a company listed on the [Australia Stock Exchange] and valued using the same 11-times price-to-earnings ratio as her partner, Rio Tinto, she would be worth US$30 billion (£19 billion), putting her in the top ten of the Forbes rich list,” according to SmartCompany, an Australian business website.
“It is possible to see Rinehart’s portfolio of coal and iron ore production spinning off annual profits approaching US$10 billion,” granting her “personal net worth valuation of more than US$100 billion.”
Rinehart is hardly known outside of Australian business circles and largely shuns publicity. Her father, Lang Hancock, discovered the world’s biggest iron ore deposit in the Pilbara region of Australia in 1952.