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Graeme Hart Ranks 144th In Forbes' Billionaires List

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Graeme Hart
Graeme Hart

Wellington, March 11 NZPA - New Zealand businessman Graeme Hart ranks 144th in Forbes' annual list of billionaires with an estimated net worth of $US5.3 billion ($NZ7.56 billion).

Forbes describes Mr Hart as a self-made businessman who made his money from investments.

"Master of the leveraged buyout once drove a tow truck. Now the richest person in Australia and New Zealand," the authors of the list said.

The commentary explains how Mr Hart's wholly owned investment company Rank Group has turned into a global packaging powerhouse since buying Carter Holt Harvey.

"Though Hart was not doing much dealmaking in the last 12 months, he did restructure some of his holdings," the commentary says.

Mr Hart is 54. He has an MBA from Otago University and is married with two children and lives in Auckland.

Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim is the new richest person in the world, knocking Microsoft founder Bill Gates into second spot on the list.

There are 1011 billionaires around the world in 2010, up from 793 last year. Of those 89 are women, up from 72 in 2009.

Mr Hart rates equal with Giorgio Armani and ahead of Ralph Lauren. Australia's wealthiest person is Andrew Forrest, who is 208th on the list. James Packer is 258th.

Richard Chandler, who has New Zealand citizenship, is 307th equal on the list with a fortune of $US3.1 billion.

He is described as a beekeeper's son who is now one of Asia's biggest philanthropists and most innovative investors. The Singapore-based New Zealander made his first fortune when he and brother Christopher, also a billionaire, invested proceeds from selling their parents' retailing business in Hong Kong real estate.

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