Power and wealth often go hand in hand. And in today’s world power is often linked with politics. Individuals who hold the country’s governance not only have control over vast state resources but very often start their political journey on the basis of personal wealth. These factors make politicians some of the richest individuals and here is a list of ten of the richest politicians on the planet.
- King Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz
King Abdullah is the ruler of Saudi Arabia and is estimated to be worth about $ 21 billion. Hardly any surprise there since King Abdullah reigns in a country that controls 20 percent of known oil reserves. He became King of Saudi Arabia in 2005. Since then he has focused on developing cities to foster economic improvement. He has also set up several welfare projects and two universities, one of which is for girls.
- Hassanlal Bolkiah
Formally known as the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanlal Bolkia is believed to enjoy a net worth of $20 billion. He has ruled the country since 1967. Under Brunei's 1959 constitution, the Sultan is the head of state with full executive authority, including emergency powers since 1962. Apart from this Bolkiah is also the Prime Minister as well as holds the portfolios of Minister of Defense and Finance. His fortune lies in the oil and gas industry. He has an extensive auto collection which is thought to exceed seven thousand cars and Istana Nurul Iman, his official residence, is one of the world's largest palaces at two million plus square feet.
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- Michael Bloomberg
Elected last fall to his third term as New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg spent a reported US$90 million in his campaign. The main source of his US$ 18 billion fortune is his 88% ownership in Bloomberg LP, the financial data and news outfit which he founded in 1992 and which was gradually expanded to include magazine, radio station as well as cable network.
Michael Bloomberg was earlier married to Yorkshire-born Susan Brown and the couple had two daughters, Emma and Georgina. The marriage however ended in a divorce. Currently the 68 year-old NYC mayor is romantically linked to former New York state banking superintendent Diane Taylor. As a powerful investment banker and much sought-after name in the world of non-profits, Taylor is known to be as much her own person as the Mayor’s girlfriend of seven years.
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- Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Al Nahyan is the ruler and Emir of one of the most prosperous Arab states, Abu Dhabi and his own fortune is estimated at around $18 billion. Sheikh Khalifa runs the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority which is also the world's biggest sovereign wealth fund. Other than this there are vast oil fields of the state and Forbes reported that Emir controls 97.8 billion proven oil reserves, making him one of the richest political figures in the region.
- Vladimir Putin
The most powerful figure in Russian politics, Vladimir Putin has served as the President of Russia since 7 May 2012. Putin previously served as President from 2000 to 2008 and as Prime Minister of Russia from 1999 to 2000, and again from 2008 to 2012. Even though The Kremlin claims Putin has just $180,000 in savings, according to international finance agencies, his actual assets could be anything between $180,000-$40 billion.
- Savitri Jindal
This Indian politician has a personal fortune of $13.2 billion which she owes to her family's ownership of O.P Jindal Group – steel and power conglomerate, which her sons run today. Savitri Jindal is a member of the Legislative Assembly in Haryana, a state in the northern part of the country.
- Zong Quinghou
Chinese politician and member of National People's Council has emerged as one of the most powerful businessmen in China. This was affirmed in an article by CNN Money1 which recently named him one of the 15 businessmen to have most influenced China. Zong is the Chairman and CEO of the beverage empire Wahaha Group., and Forbes reported that he is expanding into the department store and natural resource sectors. Currently he enjoys a net worth of $10.8 billion USD.
- Serge Dassault
French politician Serge Dassault enjoys a net worth of $8 billion USD. He is a Senator in the French Parliament but owes his wealth to his position as the chairman of Groupe Dassault and owner of Le Figaro, a French daily paper. His father, Marcel Dassault, is the founder of Dassault Aviation. Apart from politics, Dassault is also interested in philanthropy, and his charity Fondation Serge Dassault, sponsors programs for pediatric cancer and handicapped adults.
- Silvio Berlusconi
The butt of many jokes now and synonymous with bunga-bunga parties, Berlusconi nevertheless remains a strong political force in Italy. Berlusconi was Italy's longest serving prime minister before he resigned in November 2011. still a member of the Italian Parliament, his current networth is estimated to be $7.8 billion. Berlusconi began as a young entrepreneur selling vacuum cleaners then moved on to develop residential houses. In the early 1970s he launched Telemilano, which grew into Mediaset, the largest media company of Italy.
- Miloud Chabi
As the richest individual of Morocco, Miloud Chabi is worth around $3 billion USD. The source of his wealth is real estate where he started out with construction of cheap housing and then expanded through Ynna Holding into hotels, supermarkets, and renewable energy. Chabi is quite active in political affairs as well. Having served as a Member of the Moroccan Parliament, he now regularly expresses his opinions in the press against political and business corruption.