With EUR 1.1 billion in wealth, Romanian businessman Ioan Niculae topped this year’s Forbes’ list of 500 billionaires, reports Agerpres newswire.
Niculae, 59, controls the agri-business conglomerate Interagro that he founded. Recently, his group was dragged into a high profile corruption scandal, involving former economy ministers Varujan Vosganian and Adriean Videanu. Niculae is accused of securing cheaper gas supply contracts for his fertilizer plants from state-owned gas producer Romgaz. Vosganian resigned from the top minister job following the corruption allegations.
He is trailed by Dan Grigore Adamescu, with a wealth of EUR 950 million, and by Frank Timis and Ion Tiriac, with EUR 850 million each.
The list also includes Veronica Gusa de Dragan (EUR 550 million), Gabriel Comanescu (EUR 500 million), Gruia Stoica (EUR 470 million), Ovidiu Tender (EUR 400 million), Zoltan Teszari (EUR 370 million) and brothers Dragos and Damian Paval (EUR 360 million).
The combined wealth of the 500 billionaires included in the list stood at EUR 19.9 billion, which is a decrease of EUR 1.6 billion from last year. Their companies employ close to 200,000 people.
The average wealth of the businesspersons included in the list amounts to EUR 39 million and the average age of the billionaires that made the list stands at 52. There were 47 businesswomen included in the ranking.
Most the billionaires are based in Bucharest, while fewer of them are based in the cities of Cluj, Constanta, Sibiu and Brasov.