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Wealth 300 richest in Switzerland just got richer

Luxury lifestyle

Luxury lifestyle as on show in St Moritz

(© Keystone / Christian Beutler)

The 300 richest people in Switzerland saw their fortunes increase by 4% overall in 2019, to reach CHF702 billion ($703 billion), according to a report.

Leading the way – as they have done for almost the past two decades – are the sons of the late founder of the Swedish “flat pack” furniture chain Ikea. Ingvar Kamprad, who famously lived modestly, driving an old Volvo, died two years ago. He was resident for a long time near Lausanne, but his sons, all Swiss passport holders, live abroad.

+ Ingvar Kamprad obituary

Second on the list are the Hoffmann and Oeri families, who own part of the pharma giant Roche. Third place is taken by Gérard Wertheimer, major shareholder in the luxury brand Chanel, according to the list, which was published on Friday in the business magazines Bilanexternal link and Bilanzexternal link and includes Swiss and foreigners resident in Switzerland.

The reason for the overall rise in the total fortune was the rise in stock market prices this year, which performed better than in 2018. However, not everyone had a good 2019: only one in six made more money than the year before. Around three quarters saw their fortune stagnate.

Among those falling down the ranking was Ivan Glasenberg, outgoing CEO of Zug-based commodities trader Glencore. His share packet value fell by CHF1.25 billion over the year, but he did receive CHF242 million in dividends.

+ More on Glencore’s position here

Overall entrants needed CHF100 million to make the list.

The richest of all, noted the magazines, are getting richer. Those in the top ten boosted their earnings by CHF18 billion, to own a total of CHF221 billion. When the rankings were started in 1989 the top 100 people were worth a total of CHF66 billion.

Keystone-SDA/Bilanz/ilj

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