27 Jul 2012

Russian takes top spot on NBR rich list

6:00 am on 27 July 2012

A foreigner has topped The National Business Review's annual rich list for the first time.

Alexander Abramov, an industrial technologist who amassed the largest steel and iron empire in Russia, has taken the top spot on this year's list.

He is building a luxury home in the Bay of Islands that could cost as much as $40 million.

Mr Abramov has superseded the packaging magnate Graeme Hart, who is now in second place.

Richard Chandler, who made $4 billion investing in energy, telecommunications and banking in several continents, is ranked third.

NBR says it has included on the list foreigners who have made significant investments in New Zealand and who have put down roots in the country - whether they live here permanently or not.

It says such people make up half of the list's top ten.

Other international additions include the American filmmaker James Cameron and Auckland-based hoteliers the Pandey family.