According to the latest Forbes’ Billionaires List, there are 2,153 billionaires (in US dollars) in the world and 28 of them are from the emerging Europe region.
The list includes eight Czech, seven Ukrainian, seven Polish, two Slovakian, two Hungarian, one Romanian and one Georgian national.
The richest person in emerging Europe is the Czech Petr Kellner, the owner of the PPT Investment Fund and Czech telecom giant O2, who is ranked 73rd on the global list with a fortune of 15.5 billion US dollars.
Aside from Mr Kellner, seven other billionaires from the region are ranked within the first thousand of the world’s richest people, including Ukrainian industrial business owner Rinat Akhmetov (ranked 272nd with six billion US dollars), former Georgian prime minister Bidzina Ivanishvili (ranked 365th with 4.9 billion US dollars), Andrej Babiš, the prime minister of the Czech Republic (ranked 617th with 3.5 billion US dollars), Czech real estate mogul Radovan Vitek (also ranked 617th with 3.5 billion US dollars), Polish construction company owner Michał Sołowow (ranked 691st with 3.2 billion US dollars), Czech investor Karel Homarek (ranked 715th with 3.1 billion US dollars), Daniel Křetínský, the Czech owner of Central Europe’s biggest energy holding (ranked 775th with 2.9 billion US dollars) and Polish TV owner Zygmunt Solorz-Żak (ranked 838th with 2.7 billion US dollars).
Ranked 1,281st, Dominika Kulczyk, the owner of the Polish branch of SAP Miller and renewable energy company Polenergia is the sole woman from emerging Europe to make the list.
Ivan Chrenko and Jaroslav Haščák from Slovakia, Ion Țiriac from Romania, Sebastian Kulczyk, Jerzy Starak, Tomasz Biernacki and Dariusz Miłek from Poland, Kostyantin Zhevago, Yuriy Kosiuk, Victor Pinchuk, Henadiy Boholyubov, Igor Kolomoyskiy and Vadim Novinsky from Ukraine, Pavel Baudis, Pavel Tykač and Marek Dospiva from Czechia, as well as Sándor Csányi and Lőrinc Mészáros from Hungary also made it to the list’s 2019 edition.
Mr Mészáros, who has become the richest person in Hungary (together with his family’s fortune), is a childhood friend and close ally of Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán.