32 Turks on Forbes’ 2015 billionaires list
ISTANBUL/WASHINGTONThere are 32 Turkish citizens on Forbes’ 2015 list of billionaires, the magazine announced on late March 2.
Among these 32 people, Murat Ülker was ranked the richest person from Turkey. He is the chairman of Yıldız Holding, which owns U.K.-based United Biscuits and Godiva Chocolates, and has a net worth of $4.4 billion. Ülker was ranked the 368th wealthiest person in the world.
He was followed by Fiba Holding Chairman Hüsnü Özyeğin, who has $2.7 billion in net assets, according to the Forbes list. Özyeğin has investments in banking, retail, real estate and energy. Semahat Arsel from the Koç family, the richest family of the country, was ranked the third-wealthiest Turkish citizen with $2.6 billion.
Koç Holding Honorary President Rahmi Koç was ranked fourth place in the list of wealthiest Turkish citizens, tied with Ferit Şahenk, chairman of one of Turkey’s largest conglomerates, Doğuş Holding. Both had a net fortune of $2.5 billion. They were followed by Şarık Tara, who owns leading construction company Enka Holding, with $2.4 billion. Erman Ilıcak, who also owns a leading construction company, Rönesans Holding, which recently built Turkey’s new presidential palace dubbed “Ak Saray” by the opposition parties, came next with $2.2 billion with Suna Kıraç from the Koç family and Filiz Şahenk, one of main shareholders of Doğuş Holding. Ali İbrahim Ağaoğlu, who owns a construction company primarily focused on building houses and residences, came next with $1.8 billion.
Among the 32 Turkish citizens on the list, eight are women.
Wealthiest with $7.05 trillion
Despite plunging oil prices and a weakened euro, the new ranking of the world’s wealthiest people defied global economic turmoil and expanded yet again, the magazine said.
For the 29th annual guide to the globe’s richest, the magazine found a record of 1,826 billionaires with an aggregate net worth of $7.05 trillion, up from $6.4 trillion a year ago. The total includes 290 newcomers, 71 of who hail from China.
Bill Gates is once again the richest person on the planet, a title he’s held for 16 of the past 21 years. His fortune grew by $3.2 billion since last year to $79.2 billion, according to the list.
Overall, in second place is Mexican telecommunications mogul Carlos Slim Helu, with a net worth of $77.1 billion. He had topped the list in 2013. He was followed by investor Warren Buffett, who moved up one slot this year with a net worth of $72.7 billion. In fourth place was Amancio Ortega, the Spanish co-founder of clothing retail chain Zara, with a net worth of $64.5 billion. Rounding out the top five was Larry Ellison, founder of tech giant Oracle, with $54.3 billion.
Nearly 25 percent of this year’s first-time billionaires hail from China, which produced a world-leading 71 newcomers. The United States came in second, with 57, followed by India, with 28, and Germany, with 23.
The most famous rookie on the billionaires list was Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest basketball player of all time and indisputably the best-paid athlete of all time. Forbes first outed Jordan as a billionaire last June. Most of his cash comes from Nike payouts on his iconic brand.