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9 billionaires who rule their countries' economies

Last updated on: March 27, 2014 13:30 IST

9 billionaires who rule their countries' economies

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There are billionaires that a country cannot do without. They may not be the Presidents or Prime Ministers of nation but they are considered to be either equally or more important.

Take an example of Bidzina Ivanishvili. He has wealth that equals to 32 per cent of his country’s (Georgia) GDP. He runs schools, colleges, hospitals, and all important basic infrastructure that rival the Georgian government’s programme.

Let’s take a look at such billionaires who have significant fortune as percentage of their country’s GDP.

Source: Forbes

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Image: Bidzina Ivanishvili.
Photographs: Reuters

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Bidzina Ivanishvili

Country: Georgia

Net worth as percentage of country GDP: 32 per cent

Net worth: $5.2 billion

Bidzina Ivanishvili started his business career by selling computers in Russia in 1990s. Later, he started buying companies, turning them around and selling them for a huge profit in Russia. His major source of wealth comes from metals and banking.

After returning to his home country, he also served as Prime Minister of Georgia for about a year.

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Image: Bidzina Ivanishvili.
Photographs: Reuters

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Najib & Taha Mikati

Country: Lebanon

Net worth as percentage of country GDP: 14 per cent (6.9 per cent each)

Net worth: $6.2 billion ($3.1 billion each)

Mikati co-founded the telecommunications company Investcom with his brother Taha in 1982, which he sold to South Africa's MTN Group for $5.5 billion.

He has also served as as the Prime Minister of Lebanon two times.

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Image: Najib Mikati.
Photographs: Reuters
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Aliko Dangote

Country: Nigeria

Net worth as percentage of country GDP: 9 per cent

Net worth: $25 billion

Aliko Dangote is the richest man in Africa and owner of the Dangote Group. The company has interests in commodities with operations in many countries including Benin, Cameroon, Togo, Ghana, South Africa and Zambia.

His company dominates the sugar market in Nigeria. He is also into food processing, cement manufacturing, and freight businesses.

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Image: Aliko Dangote.
Photographs: Reuters

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Rinat Akhmetov

Country: Ukraine

Net worth as percentage of country GDP: 7 per cent

Net worth: $12.5 billion

Rinat Akhmetov is the founder and President of System Capital Management (SCM).

The company has over 100 businesses including metals and mining, power generation, banking and insurance, telecommunications, media and real estates.

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Image: Rinat Akhmetov
Photographs: Reuters

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Stefan Persson

Country: Sweden

Net worth as percentage of country GDP: 6 per cent

Net worth: $34.4 billion

Stefan Persson is the chairman and main shareholder in fashion company H&M, which was founded by his father Erling Persson in 1947.

He also owns a substantial stake in the Swedish technology company, HexagonAB.

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Image: Stefan Persson.
Photographs: Prolineserver/Wikimedia Commons
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Binod Chaudhary

Country: Nepal

Net worth as percentage of country GDP: 6 per cent

Net worth: $1.1 billion

Binod Chaudhary is the current chairman of Chaudhary Group (CG), a conglomerate that consists of nearly 80 companies.

Besides business, Chaudhary has been involved in various other government and social sectors, according to Wikipedia.

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Image: Binod Chaudhary.
Photographs: Reuters

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Carlos Slim Helu & family

Country: Mexico

Net worth as percentage of country GDP: 6 per cent

Net worth: $72 billion

Carlos Slim is the second richest person in the world. He has investments in many Mexican companies through his conglomerate Grupo Carso. Some of the sectors include communications, technology, retailing, and finance.

Presently, Slim is the chairman and chief executive of telecommunications companies Telmex and America Movil.

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Image: Carlos Slim.
Photographs: Reuters
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Suat Gunsel

Country: Cyprus

Net worth as percentage of country GDP: 6 per cent

Net worth: $1.2 billion

Suat Gunsel has made his wealth in real estate and education. He is the founder of the Near East University.

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Image: Suat Gunsel.
Photographs: Courtesy, Suat Gunsel

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Petr Kellner

Country: CzechRepublic

Net worth as percentage of country GDP: 6 per cent

Net worth: $11 billion

You can call him the Warren Buffett of CzechRepublic. Kellner owns about 94 per cent of the PPF financial group. He started his career at the Czech company Impromat, which imported and sold of Ricoh photocopiers.


Image: Petr Kellner.
Photographs: Courtesy, PPG Group

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