17 Israelis make ‘Forbes’ billionaires list

Richest Israeli is Idan Ofer, one of the heads of the Israel Corporation, with a $6.5 billion fortune. His brother, Eyal Ofer, is the second wealthiest with $6 billion.

Seventeen Israelis are among the 1,426 richest people on the planet, according to the Forbes business magazine’s 2013 Billionaires list. The Ofer brothers, Idan (182nd on the global list) and Eyal (198th place), are Israel’s wealthiest moguls with fortunes estimated at $6.5 billion and $6 billion respectively.

The brothers inherited their fortunes from their father, the late Sammy Ofer, who built his fortune on shipping and chemicals. The Ofers holding company Israel Corporation, is associated with Israel Chemicals. They also own Zim shipping lines.

Mexico’s telecom mogul Carlos Slim ($73 billion) is once again the world’s richest person, followed by Bill Gates ($67 billion) and Amancio Ortega ($57 billion) of Spanish retailer Zara.

Israel’s top well-to-do business people were further down the list. Iscar founder Stef Wertheimer and family slotted into 286th place, with a fortune of $4.4 billion. The fourth richest Israelis are Shari Arison, the controlling shareholder in Bank Hapoalim and other companies, and media mogul Arnon Milchen (tied at 308th place) with a wealth of $4.2 billion each. Arison is also the richest Israeli woman in the world.

Other Israelis to make the money-spinning list are mining magnate Beny Steinmetz ($4.1 billion; 316th place); diamond merchant Dan Gertler and Delek Group controlling shareholder Yitzhak Tshuva (670th place; $2.2 billion); Kazakh Eurasian Natural Resources shareholder Alexander Machkevich (704th place; $2.1 billion); Playtech Cyprus controlling shareholder Teddy Sagi (831st place; $1.8 billion); Check Point Software Technologies founder, chairman and CEO Gil Shwed (922nd place; $1.65 billion); diamond magnate and Africa-Israel Investments chairman Lev Leviev (974th place; $1.5 billion), investor Shaul Shani (1,107th place; $1.3 billion); Agis Pharmaceuticals founder Mori Arkin and Paz Oil Company and First International Bank of Israel controlling shareholder Zadik Bino (1,332nd place; $1.05 billion each); Morris Kahan and Check Point co-founder Marius Nacht (1,342nd place; $1 billion each).

The 2013 Forbes Billionaires list says the richest people on the planet have an aggregate net worth of $5.4 trillion. The US leads the list with 442 billionaires, followed by Asia-Pacific (386), Europe (366), the Americas (129) and the Middle East & Africa (103).

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About Viva Sarah Press

Viva Sarah Press is an associate editor and writer at ISRAEL21c. She has extensive experience in reporting/editing in the print, online and broadcast fields. She has jumped out of a plane, ducked rockets and been attacked by a baboon all in the name of a good story. Her work has been published by international media outlets including Israel Television, CNN, Reuters, The Jerusalem Post and Time Out.