Wertheimer leads as Israel's richest

The Middle East's richest person? Saudi investor Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, with a worth of $20.3b.

October 1, 2007 07:21
1 minute read.
Stef Wertheimer 88 298

Stef Wertheimer 88 298. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

Stef Wertheimer and family are at number 10 - the highest position for the six Israelis on Forbes Magazine's list of the the Middle East's 20 richest people. Listed at a worth of $4.4 billion, Wertheimer saw his fortune grow over the last year after he sold 80 percent of his company, Iscar Metalworking Co., to Warren Buffett in 2006. Wertheimer was followed in 11th place by Shari Arison, the owner of Carnival Cruise Lines, worth an estimated $4.3b. and then by the diamond mogul and controller of the Africa-Israel Real Estate Group, Lev Leviev, whose estimated wealth was reported by Forbes to be $4.1b, good enough to place him 12th. In 13th place was Yitzhak Tshuva, the majority owner of the Delek Group, worth $4b., followed in 14th place by Sammy Ofer and family, the controlling shareholder of the Israel Corporation, which counts as its subsidiaries Zim Shipping Lines, Israel Chemicals and Tower Semiconductor. The final Israeli on the list, which was released over the weekend, was film producer and businessman Arnon Milchan, who, at $3b., was ranked 20th. Yet, while some Israelis may point with pride at the inclusion of the country's wealthiest citizens on the annual lists published by Forbes, the country still lags far behind its oil-laden neighbors, on the Middle East register. The Middle East's richest person? Saudi investor Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, with a worth of $20.3b. In July, the prince took public his Kingdom Holding Co., a conglomerate of banking, media, real estate and hotel investments, raising $2.3b. He also has a substantial stake in the US financial giant Citigroup. According to Forbes, the region's 20 richest billionaires made their money in nine industries and are worth a combined $123b., up 10% from last year.

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