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Treasury & Capital Markets
US dominates ranks of world’s richest women
China and India keep pace, occupy second and fifth spots respectively
The Asset 28 Feb 2024

More women are joining the rarefied ranks of billionaires, whether through hard work, inheritance, or both.

While the United States has the highest number of female billionaires in the world with 97 in total, other countries such as China and India are keeping pace, a new study finds.

China is in second place with 42, while India is in fifth spot with 15, according to financial services provider City Index, which scraped Forbes’ live billionaire tracker to rank countries according to their respective number of female billionaires. The report comes ahead of the celebration of the International Women’s Day on March 8.

French-born Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, the granddaughter of the founder of cosmetics giant L'Oreal, is the world’s richest woman who, along with her family, has a net worth of US$99 billion.

Still, Americans dominate the rankings with Walmart heiress Alice Walton (US$63.7 billion) and New York-based socialite Julia Koch (US$59.8 billion) in second and third places respectively. Jacqueline Mars, of the US chocolate and confectionery giant Mars, comes in fourth place with a fortune of US$39.5 billion.

Heading the list in China is Zhong Huijuan, described as one of the world's top self-made women billionaires, with a net worth of US$7.5 billion. She is the founder and chair of Hansoh Pharmaceutical. Closely following her is Zheng Shuliang, vice chair of the aluminium major China Hongqiao Group founded by her late husband Zhang Shiping. She and her family have a net worth of US$7.3 billion.

Germany takes third place with 22 female billionaires, nearly a quarter that of the US. These include German automotive empire heiress Susanne Klatten (US$25.6 billion) and Nadia Thiele ($6.8 billion), widow of late billionaire industrialist  Heinz Hermann Thiele.

Ranking fourth is Italy, which is home to 19 female billionaires. Massimiliana Landini Aleotti (US$7.3 billion), heiress of the Menarini pharmaceutical empire, and iconic fashion designer Miuccia Prada (US$5.8 billion) head up the list.

In fifth place among the countries with the most female billionaires is India, which has 15 or nearly a third of those in China. Savitri Jindal, of the Indian conglomerate O.P. Jindal Group, is the country’s richest woman, sharing with her family a fortune of US$20.2 billion.  Rohiqa Cyrus Mistry, wife to former Tata Group chairman Cyrus Mistry, is next with a net worth of US$7.5 billion.

In the United Kingdom, the wealthiest woman is Denise Coates, founder of online gambling platform Bet365, with a net worth of US$7.9 billion, followed by Maritsa Lazari, with a fortune of US$2.8 billion. She was married to the late billionaire and property developer Chris Lazari.

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