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Bertarelli ranked richest Swiss on Forbes list

Biotech entrepreneur Ernesto Bertarelli has once again been ranked the wealthiest Swiss national, according to Forbes magazine's list of the world's richest people.

The magazine found that the number of billionaires dropped from 1,125 in 2008 to 793 in 2009 under the global financial crisis. "Like the rest of us, the richest people in the world have endured a financial disaster over the past year," Forbes noted.

Bertarelli, former head of the biotechnology group Serono, climbed from 75th to 52nd place, despite his fortune declining from $10.3 billion (SFr12.2 billion) to $8.2 billion.

Hansjörg Wyss, a self-made billionaire and owner of the Synthes medical implants and biomaterials company, was named the second-richest Swiss with $5.7 billion. Another nine Swiss billionaires figure on the list.

Among other nationals living in Switzerland, Sweden's Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of IKEA, was the fifth richest with $22 billion. Birgit Rausing was 39th with $9.9 billion.

Also in the top 100 were Allianz-founder August Von Finck at 69th with $6.9 billion; Curt Engelhorn, 71st, a pharmaceutical mogul, with $6.3 billion; and retail pioneer Karl-Heinz Kipp, 93rd with $5.2 billion. They are all German citizens resident in Switzerland.

Microsoft's Bill Gates regained his title as the world's richest man. His $40 billion fortune surpasses that of last year's number one, Warren Buffett, who slipped to second place after his wealth dropped from $67 billion to $37 billion.


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