Fredriksen richest again

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Tanker owner John Fredriksen, who’s also made a fortune in fish-farming and other businesses, once again tops this year’s list of the wealthiest Norwegians compiled by magazine Kapital. His fortune, moreover, is nearly double that of the next-wealthiest Norwegian on the list.

John Fredriksen, tanker owner and investor, remains Norway’s wealthiest man. PHOTO: Wikipedia Commons

Fredriksen, who recently celebrated his 75th birthday with a lavish party in Oslo, gave up his Norwegian residence years ago for tax reasons and mostly lives in London. He and his twin daughters maintain property in Norway, however, and he remains identified as a Norwegian despite his expatriate status.

Kapital’s research placed the fortune of the man who grew up in Oslo’s working class Vålerenga district at around NOK 114 billion (USD 13 billion), up by around a billion kroner from last year. Fredriksen himself thinks much of the increase in kroner is a result of a stronger US dollar.

It’s still nearly double that held by the next-wealthiest Norwegian on the list who’s also a tax refugee who has made and lost fortunes in the shipping business. Torstein Hagen, who’s now earning well off his Viking cruise line despite some serious accidents this year, was listed with a fortune of NOK 60 billion. He lives mostly in Switzerland.

Next on the list were grocery store owners and investors Odd Reitan (NOK 42.4 billion) and Johan Johannson (NOK 40 billion), followed by industrialist Kjell Inge Røkke (NOK 35.5 billion). Røkke emerged as the biggest loser on Kapital’s list this year after his fortune reportedly declined by NOK 4.4 billion since last year.

Trygve Hegnar, editor of Kapital and a wealthy businessman himself, told state broadcaster NRK that otherwise the list proves that “the rich get richer.” Men dominate on the list, with the first woman showing up in 22nd place. Shipping heiress Margaret B Garmann was reported to have personal net worth of NOK 9 billion. Of the 400 people on Kapital’s list of Norway’s wealthiest, only 51 were women, with most of them inheriting their wealth.

To see Kapital’s complete list, click here (external link to Kapital.no).

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund