Wealthy Norwegians set new record

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For the first time ever, all of the 400 wealthiest Norwegians are billionaires, in Norwegian kroner. Shipping tycoon John Fredriksen tops the list compiled by magazine Kapital once again, with a fortune estimated at NOK 114 billion (USD 13.4 billion). 

Shipowner John Fredriksen is once again the weathiest Norwegian in the world. PHOTO: Wikipedia Commons

The magazine published its annual rankings of wealthy Norwegians on Thursday and all 400 are worth at least a billion kroner or more. “As far as we can see, John Fredriksen is the richest Norwegian ever,” Vibeke Holth, editor of Kapital, told news bureau NTB.

Fredriksen, who grew up in a modest family on Oslo’s east-side, started making money as a ship broker, then a shipowner and ultimately diversifying into offshore oil rigs, real estate, collection agencies and not least salmon farming. He established residence for tax reasons in Cyprus, where his main holding company is based, and most recently has been living in London but has always maintained homes in Norway.

He’s far from alone in acquiring massive wealth over the years. “Never before have we seen so much wealth in Norway,” Holth told NTB after the magazine finished the research to rank the country’s richest citizens. She told state broadcaster NRK Thursday evening that it’s a “rather homogenous” group, mostly made up of Norwegian men with even fewer women than on earlier lists, most of whom have inherited their wealth.

Second on the list was hedge fund manager Ole Andreas Halvorsen, who comes from Fredrikstad but lives in the US. His net worth was estimated at NOK 56 billion (USD 6.6 billion), up NOK 13 billion from the year before.

Grocery store chain founders and owners once again made a good showing on the list, not least during the Corona crisis when restaurants had to shut down. Odd Reitan, founder of the REMA 1000 grocery chain, was in third place with a fortune estimated at NOK 51 billion, followed closely by Johan Johannson of the NorgesGruppen grocery chain that includes KIWI, Meny, Jacobs, Joker and lots of other interests in the food and beverage sector. Johannson was said to be worth NOK 50.5 billion, both more than NOK 6 billion more than last year.

The others making up the 10 wealthiest include salmon farming tycoon Gustav Witzøe, tobacco heir and real estate developer Johan Andresen, real estate mogul Ivar Tollefsen, industrialist Kjell Inge Røkke, grocery store founder and Orkla boss Stein Erik Hagen and shipowner Torstein Hagen.

Others on the list include several founders of high tech ventures. “There’s been a breakthrough during the past year of ‘big tech’ companies, and if it goes their way, this can be something we can live off of after oil,” Holth told NTB.

newsinenglish.no staff