- Global equity markets imploded, and businesses suffered as the pandemic tightened its grip, tanking many fortunes.
- Forbes suggests that in Mid-March 2020, the world’s billionaires were worth USD 8 trillion, down USD 700 billion from 2019.
- Australian corporate honchos have been known to keep getting richer, adding more billions in their pockets; COVID-19 has doubled the fortunes for many of them.
- Iron ore miners and tech titans seem to be benefitting the most in the recent times as the country gears up with more promising businesspeople making waves.
The richest people on earth are not immune to the treacherous novel coronavirus. Despite this, expert consensus opines that the globe's richest people continue to grow richer, as COVID 19 topples the world economy and pushes activities online.
Looking at surging iron ore prices and the tech sector winning from the work-at-home revolution, the novel coronavirus pandemic seems to have created some opportunities for certain sectors.
Besides, billionaire buzz has been doing its rounds even in the dismal year for businesses. For instance, Jeff Bezos recently recorded a new net worth of USD 171.6 billion last month to become the world’s richest person. His fast-growing wealth providing a remarkable measure of Amazon’s economic might.
In this backdrop- How are things in Australia? Did Australian billionaires lift their fortunes lately? Let’s find out-
Australian Billionaires Vs Income Inequality
Inheritance is one way of being wealthy, while building an empire from the scratch is another. The business-cordial Australian region luckily has a good mix of both. At the end of the day, what matters is- how much has one secured in their nest egg?
Australia has slightly fewer billionaires as compared to other developed countries with likewise standard of living statuses. However, Australian corporate honchos have been known to keep getting richer, adding more billions in their pockets.
Experts opine that while the concentration of wealth in the hands of Australia’s richest can be seen, the share of wealth of the bottom half of the Australian community has dwindled over the past few years, as workers' wages continue to languish.
It can be said that Australia is among the wealthiest nations across the globe, yet the pervasive gap between the haves and the have-nots persists.
Australia’s Rich List
Coming to the current unprecedented times, the below image unveils 5 faces that are part of AFR’s Australia’s Rich List in the COVID-19 scenario, with technology and mining entrepreneurs ruling the space-
(Entrepreneurs’ Image Source: Respective Company Websites)
What Makes Australia’s Rich Even Richer?
Robust demand growth from Chinese steel makers along with manufacturing troubles from Brazil, has kept Australia’s desirable iron ore at a bright spot amid the Global Virus Crisis.
Consequently, the nation’s rich space comprises of mining titans like Gina Rinehart who currently Chairs Hancock Prospecting, a privately-owned mineral exploration and extraction company, along with iron ore billionaire and Chairman of Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX:FMG), Andrew Forrest.
Besides, shift to digitisation and the work from home culture amid COVID 19 has benefitted Australian technology magnates. Software developers and co-founders of Atlassian, Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar saw their fortunes soar as the Company’s Nasdaq-listed shares and products performed strongly. COVID 19 provided a boost to Atlassian that specialises in developing tools to help people collaborate and remain productive while working remotely. Products such as Jira and Trello helped remote teams collaborate in a way they had not done in the past.
Bricks-and-mortar billionaires and property developers like Hui Wing Mau also increased wealth in the pandemic owing to a burgeoning China.
Australia’s Attention-worthy Budding Business Titans
While the country’s richest continue to up their fortune ladder, there are budding business geniuses that deserve good attention.
For instance, Melanie Perkins who is one of the Australia's youngest billionaires, almost doubled her personal wealth (to over $ 2 billion) in months post her tech company Canva fetched massive popularity amid COVID 19. Regarded as a probable competitor to tech field titans like Adobe and Microsoft, Canva aims to take the entire design ecosystem, integrate it into one page, and make it globally accessible. With people working from home during lockdowns, the digital graphics business and its software came to good rescue.
So much so, in June 2020, Canva raised private capital of USD 60 million in funding, nearly doubling the Company's 2019 USD 3.2 billion valuation to USD 6 billion, thereby making it one of the most valuable private technology business in Australia.
Another notable example is the spectacular NASDAQ debut of Australian e-commerce software company, BigCommerce. Founders Eddie Machaalani and Mitchell Harper seem to be on the right path to make an entry into Australia’s richest bandwagon, with fortunes of approximately $650 million each. The Company went public on 5 August 2020, at USD 24 a share and soared almost USD 100 a share the next day, surging over 200%, making it one of the 2020’s best-performing IPOs.
Though a minority have shone in the dismal year for most companies, Australian businesses continue to deliver need-of-the-hour product and service offerings, showcasing strong management, resilient business plans. As Australian businesspeople persistently grab opportunities backed by strong fundamentals, the question is- who will emerge stronger in the “new normal”? Though time seems to have the best answer to this; it is clear that amid the crisis- not all has been sullen.
GOOD WATCH- AUSTRALIA'S TOP RICHEST LIST UNDER 40
(Note: All currency in AUD unless otherwise specified)
There is no investor left unperturbed with the ongoing trade conflicts between US-China and the devastating bushfire in Australia.
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