Billionaire Graeme Hart has climbed the rankings of Forbes magazine's richest people in the world

Graeme Hart, New Zealand's richest man.
Graeme Hart, New Zealand's richest man.

New Zealand's richest man has climbed the rankings of Forbes magazine's richest people in the world, accumulating an estimated $4.5 billion in the past year.

Kiwi billionaire Graeme Hart came in at No 133 on the list of Forbes billionaires with an estimated net worth of US$9.5b ($13.5b).

A year earlier Hart was ranked No 178, with a net wealth estimated at US$6.4b.

Hart is now worth more than ever before. He debuted on the Forbes billionaires list in 2008, with an estimated net worth of $5.1b.

Hart is a self-made man and has accumulated a packaging empire under Rank Group.

Famously private, Hart, who is married with two children, hasn't given an interview to the New Zealand press in about a decade.

Hart is the second wealthiest person in Australasia. Mining tycoon Gina Rinehart is the richest, ranking at No 69 on the Forbes list with a wealth estimated at $15b.

He is richer than entrepreneur Richard Branson, who is ranked No 324 and worth $5b.

New Zealand's second-richest man, Richard Chandler, was ranked at No 1098.

Chandler is worth $1.91b, a drop from $2.45b last year.

For the fourth time in a row, Bill Gates was named as the richest man in the world, with an estimated fortune of $86b and Warren Buffett came in at second place with a net worth of $75.6b.

Amazon's chief executive Jeff Bezos came in third place, with $72b, up from $27b the previous year, making him the biggest wealth gainer on the list.

He was followed by Zara boss Amancio Ortega with $71.3b, and then Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in fifth place with an estimated worth of $69.1b.

Donald Trump's fortune has fallen by an estimated $200 million since he took office, according to Forbes magazine, plunging him more than 200 rungs down the worldwide wealth rankings.

Trump was ranked at No 544, with a net worth of around $3.5 billion.

- NZ Herald

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