Portuguese billionaires plunge hundreds of positions in Forbes’ list

Portugal’s billionaires are still billionaires but have dropped hundreds of spots on Forbes magazine’s latest ‘Billionaire List’.

According to Forbes, Portugal’s richest man – ‘cork king’ Américo Amorim (€3.9 billion) – dropped from 267th place all the way to the 369th.

As the Resident reported in August last year (see story ‘€1 billion down, but still Portugal’s richest’ at portugalresident.com), Amorim is believed to have lost around €1 billion in the financial disaster of BES bank, where he held investments in ‘commercial paper’.

Second richest Belmiro de Azevedo – owner of retail giant Sonae, with an estimated fortune of €1.76 billion – fell from 687th spot to the 949th richest billionaire. And Alexandre Soares dos Santos, the head of Portuguese supermarket group Jerónimo Martins, dropped over 400 places and is now the world’s 1,054th richest person, with a €1.6 billion fortune.

Elsewhere, however, Forbes found that the world’s wealthiest are even wealthier than they were last year.

“Despite plunging oil prices and a weakened euro, the ranks of the world’s wealthiest defied global economic turmoil and expanded yet again,” said the magazine.

“For our 29th annual guide to the globe’s richest, we found a record 1,826 billionaires with an aggregate net worth of $7.05 trillion, up from $6.4 trillion a year ago.”

The list is once again led by Bill Gates, who has an estimated fortune of €70.7 billion, followed by Mexican magnate Carlos Slim Helu (€68.9 billion) and American investor Warren Buffett (€64.5 billion).

Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, has made it into the top-20 for the first time with a €29.8 billion fortune (16th place).

Photo: Portugal’s richest man ‘cork king’ Américo Amorim