The billionaire capital of the world is New York City according to Forbes latest posting of the top cities for billionaires. With 55 billionaires, New York reigns number one even after losing 16 billionaires since last years rating.
As the world slips deeper into a recession even the rich are feeling the pinch and this is closely reflected by the loss of billionaires all around the globe. New York celebrity rich Henry Kravis and Stephen Schwarzman have both lost fortunes respectively.
Among the dropped from last year’s list are Maurice Greenberg who lost his fortune and is worth less than $100 million a year later. Another one dropped from the who is who of world billionaires is Citgroup chairman Sandy Weill. His Citi shares have lost nearly all of their value. News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch, shareholder activist Carl Icahn and real estate titan Donald Trump also lost considerable amounts of their fortunes.
However, not all is gloom in the billionaire department. Some like Mayor Michael Bloomberg, actually saw his net worth rise.
London takes second place in the rankings with a total of 28 billionaires. The city continues to attract the wealthy from other countries, like Indian citizen and steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal. Others like Russian oil and chemicals tycoon Leonard Blavatnik and Dutch Heineken and heiress Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken also reside in London.
Moscow ranks third with 27 millionaires after last year’s whopping 74 (which scored the city a number one rank).
Plunging real estate markets, oil prices and commodity prices are responsible for the demise of the Russian capital. Many of Russia’s upper class have seen tremendous losses. Dmitry Pumpyansky, is an industrialist from the resource-rich Ural mountain region, and he lost $5 billion as shares of his pipe producer, TMK, sank by 84%.
Russia’s richest man, metals mogul Mikhail Prokhorov, is worth $9.5 billion and lives in Moscow.
4. Hong Kong
Hong Kong ranks in at fourth place and takes the podium the most popular city for Asian billionaires. A total of 21 billionaires live in the former British colony.
The richest man of Hong Kong is Li Ka-shing, head of Hutchison Whampoa. Other Hong Kong billionaires are Lee Shau Kee, Henderson Development Chairman and the Kwok family.
5. Los Angeles
Fifth on the ranking scale of top ten billionaire cities in the world is Los Angeles, California. With a combined net worth of $2.4 billion a total of 17 billionaires live in the city and many are born from the entertainment industry. Steven Spielberg, is one of them.
In sixth place is Dallas, Texas with 14 billionaires. Despite falling oil prices, Dallas has risen from last year’s rankings to sixth place. Wildcatters T. Boone Pickens and Ray Lee Hunt live there, as does the outspoken owner of pro basketball’s Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban.
Turkey’s Istanbul clocks in at seventh place with a combined 13 billionaires. Considered the crossroads between East and West, Istanbul fell three spots from last year. Back then Istanbul had 34 billionaires with a combined net worth of $58.7 billion. The current cumulative net worth of all 13 billionaires is $18.5 billion. Its richest resident is Harvard-educated banker Husnu Ozyegin, worth $2.9 billion.
8. San Francisco
With 12 billionaires, San Francisco, California is home to some of tech’s biggest superstars, including Google guys Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who remain the Bay Area’s richest residents despite each losing more than $6.5 billion this year. Frisco ranks eight.
9 & 10 – Chicago and Sao Paulo
Chicago and Sao Paulo, Brazil, are both newcomers to the top rankings. With 10 billionaires each, the Windy City ties Tokyo, Sao Paulo and Mumbai for ninth place. Famous residents include celebrity billionaire Oprah Winfrey, hedge fund maven Ken Griffin and real estate mogul Sam Zell.
Even though these guys have billions at their disposal they too suffer tremendous losses due to the current economic conditions. It will be interesting to see who makes this list next year.
Sao Paulo is the only South American city in the top 10. Nearly 11 million people live in the teeming metropolis, including Joseph Safra, head of Banco Safra and Dorothea Steinbruch, who controls one of Brazil’s largest steelmakers, Companhia Siderurgica Nacional.
The U.S. has more cities in the top 10 than any other country: New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas and Los Angeles
Photo credits: New York, Knightsbridge London, Yachts in Moscow, Millionaire homes in Hong Kong, Los Angeles Skyline, Dallas Skyline, Istanbul City Skyline, San Francisco City Skyline, Chicago River,Sao Paulo Skyline at night