Hart climbs up Forbes billionaire list

Forbes estimates Mr Hart's wealth at $US9.5 billion ($13.5 billion) this year.

New Zealand's richest man, Graeme Hart, has climbed 45 places on the Forbes list of the world’s billionaires with an estimated wealth of $US9.5 billion ($13.5 billion) this year.

That places him at number 133 on the Forbes list, up from 178 a year ago when he was valued at $US6.4 billion.

This contrasts with the NBR Rich List, which valued him at $NZ7 billion in 2016, down from $9 billion in 2015. Read his NBR Rich List profile here.

Mr Hart, a former tow-truck driver, accumulated his wealth through a series of deals involving his private investment company Rank Group resulting in a global packaging empire.

Meanwhile, New Zealand's second-richest man according to Forbes, Richard Chandler, slipped down the rankings to number 1098.

Mr Chandler is estimated to be worth $US1.91 billion ($NZ2.7 billion), a drop from US$2.45 billion ($3.5 billion) in 2016.

Microsoft founder BIll Gates topped the list with an estimated wealth of $US86 billion, followed by investment guru Warren Buffet on $US75.6 billion. Meanwhile, Donald Trump's net worth fell by $US200 million since the election but he's still worth $US3.5 billion.

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