Foreign businessmen are among seven Cypriots listed on Forbes’ World Billionaires list in 2018, totalling €17.6 billion in combined net worth despite almost none of them residing on the island.,
The richest man holding a Cypriot passport is oil and shipping tycoon John Fredriksen, with an estimated net worth of €7 bn. The 73-year-old Norwegian investor, who is majority holder at Seadrill - a company in dire straits financially - is ranked 228th on Forbes, followed by Yakir Gabay at 766th place with a net worth of €3.1 bn. The 51-year-old Israeli businessman is focused mainly in the real estate industry in Europe and particularly in Germany.
Suat Gunsel, believed to be the richest man among Turkish Cypriots, also made the list reaching 1,284th place with a net worth of €1.9 bn. Gunsel, aged 65, owns Near East University in north Nicosia, his place of residence, in the norther part of Cyprus recognised only by Turkey. The school serves around 20,000 students and best known for working on an electric car expected to hit the market this year. He is also active in other ventures including banking, oil, and tourism industries.
Turkish Cypriot Suat Gunsel also made the list with a net worth of 1.9 billion
The siblings Haji-Ioannou remain on the list, with 51-year-old Sir Stelios holding his position at number 1,477 with a net worth of €1.6 bn. The fortune comes largely from easyJet, a private airline company he founded in 1995 based in London. He also funds a bicommunal entrepreneurial programme in Cyprus, shelling out cash to teams from both Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities who cross the divide and promote joined business ventures. His brother Polys, 58, is also on the list ranked 1650th with a net worth of €1.4 bn, while sister 47-year-old Clelia is worth €1.3 bn ranked at 1,756th place.
Surendra Hiranandani, also ranked 1756th with net worth €1.3 bn, completes the list of Cypriot billionaires on Forbes. The 63-year-old has Indian origins, being the brother of Mumbai-based billionaire, Indian property tycoon Niranjan Hiranandani, ranked 1561 with a net worth of €1.5 bn.
Three Americans top the list and they are promoting an unlikely lifestyle of modesty despite their vast riches. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, 54, is at number 1 with a net worth of €112 billion, followed by Microsfot’s Bill Gates, 62, with €90 bn. A close third is thrifty billionaire Warren Buffet, 87, of Berkshire Hathaway who became a vocal opponent of US President Trump’s big tax cuts for the top 1% rich Americans.