Fredriksen climbing fast

John Fredriksen has leapfrogged Roman Abramovich in the London billionaire’s league with the shipowner boasting one of the fastest growing fortunes in the city.

Fredriksen celebrated his 70th birthday this weekend with a fortune of £9.25bn ($15.61bn) to his name, making him the sixth richest person in the UK, according to the Sunday Times.

While Fredriksen’s wealth rose by £450m last year, Chelsea owner Abramovich saw his bank balance shrink by £780m as he slipped to ninth position.

Jose Mourinho will be content to know the backer of his football club still has £8.52bn in reserve to buy a new striker this summer.

According to the Sunday Times Fredriksen has the third fastest growing fortune on the UK’s Super-Rich list, which was published a week ahead of the traditional spring run through the bank balances of the wealthy and sometimes famous.

The newspaper calculates Fredriksen’s riches have grown at a rate of £319m per year since his debut on the list in 1985.

Only Russian tycoon Alisher Usmanov, the Arsenal shareholder and finance Len Blavatnik outscore Fredriksen in that table.

The Norwegian born magnate was not the only shipowner to register on the Sunday Times’ radar.

Idan Ofer was a new entry in 25th position. Ofer, who moved to London last year, was listed with a fortune of £3.43bn, just behind Virgin king pin and aspiring cruiseship owner Richard Branson in the standings.

Other familiar shipping names on the list headed by Sui and Gopi Hinduja include the Swire Family with £2.15bn.

The family finished in 45th just behind port and property tycoon John Whittaker and within touching distance of one-time shipowner Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou (34 with £2.78bn).

Alki David and the Leventis family were listed in 66th spot with £1.4bn, a few places clear of Mohamed Al-Fayed the former owner of Harrods and ex-chairman of Fulham.

David and his swimwear model wife Jennifer both give interviews in which the shipping heir explains London is the city with which he has always felt the strongest connection.

It is also the city with the most billionaires globally, with 72, trumping the 48 in Moscow and 43 in New York, the Sunday Times says.

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