Lifestyle Asia India

All about Amevi, world’s most expensive superyacht worth INR 1000 cr

You might have heard of or read about a lot of ridiculously expensive things owned by celebrities and businessmen and their expensive tastes. From Ambanis and Adanis to Bollywood stars, the ultra-rich of India have a penchant for all things luxury. But the world’s most expensive yacht, the Amevi superyacht can put even the most extravagant things to shame. And it is owned by none other than the steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal.

In India, super yachts are owned by a lot of the ultra rich. Both Anil and Mukesh Ambani own separate yachts. Adi Godrej and Gautam Singhania have their own yachts. Former billionaire and tycoon Vijay Mallya also owned Empress of India, one of the most expensive yachts in the world. But Lakshmi Mittal’s Amevi superyacht is a league ahead of all its contemporaries. Let’s find out all about it, while we daydream about being on a yacht vacation.

All about Lakshmi Mittal’s Amevi superyacht

Who built the amevi superyacht.

The Amevi superyacht was built in 2007 by Oceanco, a shipyard based in the Netherlands and designed by Nuvolari Lenard. Oceanco is a team of experts who merge the expertise of old-world Dutch craftsmanship with cutting-edge technology to create unparalleled masterpieces.


Lakshmi Mittal

The superyacht is 80 metres (262 ft) long with a moulded beam of 14.2 metres (46.6 ft) and can accommodate up to 16 guests and 22 crew members. With a gross tonnage of 2,310 tonnes, the yacht has twin MTU 16V 595 TE70 engines with a total power of 9,100 HP (6,800 kW). The yacht reaches a maximum speed of 18.5 knots or 34.3 kmph, with a cruising speed of around 14 knots or 26 kmph.

The most exciting yacht launches of 2023

Price of Amevi superyacht

Reportedly, the price of this majestic piece of luxury is USD 125 million (INR 1,024 crore approx).

The interiors of the Lakshmi Mittal-owned superyacht was done by renowned interior designer Alberto Pinto who is known for his work in commercial spaces like offices and hotels and private jets .

Lakshmi Mittal

Amevi features a magnificent sky lounge, with a heated swimming pool , offering panoramic views and a large terrace to get to the sun decks. The yacht also features a gym, a private movie theatre, massage room and salon, a helipad, and a stabilised pool table.


The luxury yacht has eight exquisite suites to accommodate 16 guests. Onboard are three VIP staterooms, a double cabin, and two twin cabins on the main deck, featuring large plasma screens. The owner’s suite on the upper deck features a cut above the rest, with a full-beam design. It also includes a lounge and private a outdoor space with two jacuzzis.

All Images: Courtesy superyachts.com

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Answer: Lakshmi Niwas Mittal, the CEO of ArcelorMittal, is the steel king of the world.

Answer: According to Forbes, Lakshmi Mittal is the 93rd richest man in the world currently.

Answer: Mittal is the Executive Chairman of ArcelorMittal, the world's second largest steelmaking company, as well as chairman of stainless steel manufacturer Aperam.

Answer: As of 2023, Mukesh Ambani is richer than Lakshmi Mittal.

Answer: ArcelorMittal's main competitors include thyssenkrupp, China Minmetals, Teck and DOWA HOLDINGS.

All about Amevi, world’s most expensive superyacht worth INR 1000 cr

Sreetama Basu

A journalism student who studied the subject only to meet SRK in person, she settled for the best way to meet him. Covering Entertainment throughout her career, and now Food, Health and Lifestyle as well, Sreetama is also a self-proclaimed plant mom. In love with all things slow and quiet, she can often be found hunting for quiet corners with a glass of wine in hand. Other loves include little, inconsequential things, like neatly tucked-in bedsheets and big, significant things, like whole cheesecakes. She dreams of being a baker and writing about food someday.

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Vanisha Mittal Bhatia: You won’t believe the wedding, yacht and house

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Vanisha Mittal Bhatia, an influential figure in the steel industry and the business world, was born into a legacy of steel and success.

Her story starts as the daughter of Mr. Lakshmi N. Mittal, a world-renowned business magnate, and the sister of Mr. Aditya Mittal.

She was born in India, a country whose vibrant culture and deep-rooted traditions helped shape her character and influence her perspective on business and life.

Vanisha Mittal Bhatia’s Educational Background

Vanisha Mittal Bhatita’s educational background is as impressive as her family lineage, having obtained a Bachelor of Sciences degree from the European Business School.

This gave her a solid grounding in business fundamentals and stoked her ambition, preparing her for the road ahead in the corporate world.

Vanisha Mittal Bhatia’s Career

In June 2004, Vanisha Mittal Bhatia’s journey took a pivotal turn when she was appointed as a member of the Board of Directors for LNM Holdings.

This role gave her a firsthand experience of the operational dynamics at the heart of a multinational business and honed her leadership skills.

A few months later, in December 2004, she moved up the ranks and was appointed to Mittal Steel’s Board of Directors.

In this capacity, she worked in the Procurement department, spearheading various initiatives including the innovative “total cost of ownership program.” Her efforts in this role cemented her reputation as a forward-thinking and strategic leader.

Further expanding her influence in the industry, Vanisha joined Aperam, a global player in stainless, electrical and specialty steel, in April 2011.

Since then, she has held the critical position of Chief Strategy Officer, demonstrating her ability to set and implement strategic vision at a corporate level.

Most recently, she has served as a non-independent Director of ArcelorMittal, the world’s leading steel and mining company.

In this role, she continues to push the boundaries of her family’s empire, helping to guide the company’s strategic direction and maintain its position on the global stage.

Vanisha Mittal

Vanisha Mittal Bhatia’s Wedding

Guinness World Records lists the wedding of Vanisha Mittal and investment banker Amit Bhatia as the most expensive of all time.

The US$55 million forked out for the six-day extravaganza in 2004 is nearly double what was spent on Prince William and wife Catherine’s wedding ($34 million) in 2011.

The guests at the event in Versailles were entertained by world famous performers including Shah Rukh Khan and Kylie Minogue, who was reportedly paid $330,000 to perform for 30 minutes.

The accommodation and travel expenses of all of the 1,000 guests were covered by the Mittal family.

The married couple went on to have three children, but after nearly a decade in wedlock, Amit and Vanisha reportedly divorced, although details were kept private.

Vanisha Mittal and Amit Bhatia Vanisha mittal bhatia

Vanisha Mittal Bhatia’s father

Nothing quite highlights that more than observing her father, Lakshimi Mittal, as he holidays through Europe.

On a quiet August morning in the sun-drenched port of Monaco, the Indian steel tycoon is arriving for lunch.

The diamond-studded populace of the tiny, yet enormously wealthy country is accustomed to wild displays of opulence, but even they stop to watch as the billionaire’s $125M super yacht is graciously reversed into the docks – its dozen or so crew members being ever so careful to prevent any scarring of the vessel’s immaculate exterior.

Onlookers can achieve no such glimpse inside the boat, but if Lakshmi Mittal’s taste in houses, cars and weddings are anything to go by, they can be assured no expense has been spared.

Lakshmi Mittal

Lakshmi Mittal’s Net Worth

Lakshmi Mittal’s net worth is estimated at US$19.2 billion, making him one of the world’s richest men.

The 71 year old studied at St Xavier’s College in Kolkata before amassing his fortune by founding steel company ArcelorMittal, of which he remains Executive Chairman and owns a 38% stake.

According to Bloomberg , the Luxembourg-based company has mining, energy and refining operations in 60 different countries and in 2020 had revenue of $53.3 billion.

In 2005, Forbes listed Mittal as the third richest-person in the world, while in 2015, The Sunday Times named him Business Person of the Year and Time Magazine included him in their Time 100 list.

Lakshmi Mittal, the father of Vanisha Mittal.

Lakshmi Mittal’s Houses

Lakshmi Mittal’s house in London’s Kensington Gardens was purchased from Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone in 2004 for £67 million and is regarded as one of the world’s most expensive homes.

Mittal house Vanisha mittal bhatia

The home is said to have 12 bedrooms, Turkish baths and enough space for 20 cars. The building is famous for containing marble from the same quarry as the Taj Mahal.

Mittal also owns a bungalow in one of the most exclusive streets in New Delhi, India, which he purchased for US$30 million.

Lakshmi Mittal’s Yacht

Lakshmi Mittal’s superyacht ‘Amevi’ was built at the Oceano shipyards in the Netherlands in 2007 and at 80 metres long is one of the largest in the world.

It is said to be worth around $125 million and costs a further $10-$12 million a year to run.

The interior features eight separate sleeping cabins, marble-lined bathrooms and a jacuzzi.

In the northern hemisphere summer of 2021, Mittal was seen holidaying in the yacht in Monaco with his partner and another couple, with the boat staffed by more than a dozen crew members.

Untitled design 5 Vanisha mittal bhatia

Mittal Family’s Philanthropy

Lakshmi Mittal donated $9 million to India’s Olympic efforts after the country won only one medal in both the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games.

Through the “Mittal Champions Trust,” he supported ten of the most promising Indian athletes and in 2008 was recognised for getting India its first individual Olympic gold medal.

Lakshmi Mittal Quotes

Here are some of inspirational quotes attributed to Lakshmi Mittal:

“Always think outside the box and embrace opportunities that appear, wherever they might be.”

“Everyone experiences tough times, it is a measure of your determination and dedication how you deal with them and how you can come through them.”

“Hard work certainly goes a long way. These days a lot of people work hard, so you have to make sure you work even harder and really dedicate yourself to what you are doing and setting out to achieve.”

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The Economic Times

Ambani's Jets, Mittal's Yachts: Luxurious Rides Of The Ultra-Rich

Who Owns What

Who Owns What

Private yachts and customised planes. Check out the travel modes of the jet set that double up as meeting venues, party hangouts and spots to host special occasions. For those Indians — and those with desi roots — who are counted among the world’s wealthy, island hopping in Europe aboard their customised 200-feet yacht or taking off in their bespoke jet across the continent are but a way of putting a monogram on their commute. Take a look at the rides of the jet set:

Lakshmi Mittal’s Amevi

Lakshmi Mittal’s Amevi

In 2014, this London-based billionaire was spotted relaxing on the Greek island of Mykonos, dressed casually in a white T-shirt and baggy shorts. A newspaper report speculated that while Mittal lounged on the beach alongside other tourists, his 262-feet-long yacht Amevi was parked in the waters nearby. Some amenities on board: Sun decks, a heated swimming pool, a cinema, a gym, a massage room, a hairdressing salon as well as a unique, stabilised pool table to name a few.

Mukesh Ambani’s Boeing Business Jet

Mukesh Ambani’s Boeing Business Jet

More than a decade ago, it was reported that Ambani gifted his wife, Nita, a private jet on her 44th birthday. It was said at the time that this jet was “custom-fitted with an office and a cabin with game consoles, music systems, satellite television and wireless communication. It also has a master bedroom, a bathroom with a range of showers and a bar with mood lighting”. As his personal ride, Ambani reportedly favours a Boeing Business Jet. “Most often, they want access to the same amenities in the air.” That’s how the airplane maker describes their customer’s requirement, a.k.a, a flying home, as that’s what’s wanted.

Ravi Ruia’s Sunrays

Ravi Ruia’s Sunrays

“The ultimate guest and owner’s yacht.” That’s how the captain of Sunrays, delivered in March 2010 describes it. According to a description of the yacht available on the Oceanco’s website, “The upper deck is given over to the owner’s suite and an adjacent VIP suite that can be combined to create one expansive living area. Both suites have fold-down sea balconies. The owner’s exterior foredeck hosts a whirlpool and sunbathing area. The remainder of the yacht’s accommodations for up to 16 guests is on the main deck with one VIP stateroom and four guest cabins.” The large dining room can be converted into a video conference room with the optional use of the adjacent library. Foldable sea balconies provide guests unimpeded views while dining.

Kumar Mangalam Birla’s Cessna Citation

Kumar Mangalam Birla’s Cessna Citation

A blog published by an apparel brand, owned by the Aditya Birla Group, documented the private jets of India’s rich and famous. The listicle included the jets owned by Birla, the Group’s chairman. It said, “Few people know that this sharp, business-minded entrepreneur also has a sweet tooth, when it comes to sweet flying machines, with his Gulf Stream (G100) and Cessna Citation...It’s believed that Citations are the world’s most established, well-liked and most trusted fleet of business jets. The jet has high-tech design of pilot-friendly flight decks and luxury cabin interiors. Birla is often spotted taking a ride in his luxurious aircrafts.”

Sunil Vaswani’s Platinum

Sunil Vaswani’s Platinum

This Dubai-based billionaire’s yacht is apparently a fixture in the Mediterranean and was even spotted at the French Riviera around the time that the Cannes Film Festival was held this year, with others in the list for company. Vaswani, who is considered to be one of the richest Indians in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, was once described as he “who lives on multiple continents and sails the Mediterranean each summer in an all-purpose luxury yacht”. The logo of the Stallion Group, which he heads, adorns the yacht.

Ratan Tata’s Dassault Falcon 2000

Ratan Tata’s Dassault Falcon 2000

Tata’s love for aviation is an open secret. But he is perhaps one of the handful of billionaires in the world who not only owns a private jet, but even flies one. “A lot of people know that Ratan Tata owns a Dassault Falcon 2000 private jet but, what they do not know is that since Tata is a trained pilot, he even flies his own private jet and other jets owned by the Tata group,” said an earlier report.

Reuben Brothers’ Siren

Reuben Brothers’ Siren

“While watching the boat slowly taking shape in Rendsburg, we suddenly became aware of how seductive and mysterious she seemed. We just knew then that we had to call her SIREN and we are absolutely delighted with the result.” That’s the quote attributed to the owner of the 241 feet-long Siren, on the website of Nobiskrug, the German company that built the yacht. Presumably the owner quoted in question is either David Reuben or his brother Simon. Commonly referred to as the Reuben Brothers, they trace their roots back to Mumbai, and are counted among the UK’s richest individuals. Theirs is an award-winning superyacht with a foldable helicopter platform, that can double up as “a sundeck, a dance floor or a stage”.

Adar Poonawalla’s Gulfstream G550

Adar Poonawalla’s Gulfstream G550

Earlier this year, this scion became the first Indian to take delivery of a fully customised, ACH145 helicopter by Airbus. While his new ride, with a seating capacity of eight is great for covering relatively shorter distances, his Gulfstream G550 aircraft is reportedly his transportation of choice for long-haul journeys. In an earlier interview, Poonawalla had said, “With a 13-hour range, it (his jet) can take me to anywhere in the world with a single halt.” The report further added, “The plane can also come in handy when he (Poonawalla) craves continental food and in case he wants to fly in Michelin star chefs to cook for his friends and him.”

The Economic Times

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U.S. Eyes $156 Million Yacht in Dubai Linked to a Russian Oligarch

The U.S. Justice Department is taking steps to seize the Madame Gu, a 324-foot luxury yacht, but it will be diplomatically thorny.

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View of the marina at dusk, with the superyacht in the water and buildings and cranes behind it.

By Kate Kelly ,  Michael Forsythe and Julian E. Barnes

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — On a clear morning in late October, the jewel-blue hull of the Madame Gu, one of the world’s most luxurious superyachts, gleamed, its aluminum rails shimmering in the sun. Workers on the pier said they had recently seen people painting, cleaning and generally keeping the ship with its helipad and six guest staterooms in pristine condition.

In past years, such a scene would not have been noteworthy. Many superyachts come and go from Dubai’s Mina Rashid Marina, best known as the home of the Queen Elizabeth 2, the trans-Atlantic ocean liner-turned-hotel that dominates the waterfront here.

But Russia’s war in Ukraine has turned an otherwise routine tableau into a diplomatic battleground between the United States and the United Arab Emirates, an important American ally that has established itself as a safe haven for Russian money and assets out of the reach of U.S. sanctions.

The $156 million Madame Gu epitomizes the problem. In June, the United States designated the vessel, which is linked to Andrei Skoch, a Russian steel magnate and lawmaker under sanctions, as blocked property. That means the yacht cannot use American companies for its upkeep, employ U.S. citizens or even use the dollar. The Justice Department is now taking steps to seize the Madame Gu, according to people with knowledge of the plan.

But the United States can’t seize property in a sovereign nation without permission from its government. The Emirates, which has taken a friendlier position toward Moscow, is balking at cooperating with the United States to pursue oligarchs, American officials said. The Kremlin is also using oligarch-controlled companies in the Emirates to acquire war supplies that the West is trying to keep out of Russia’s reach, according to a Western official involved in the sanctions effort against Russia.

Emirati officials did not comment specifically on the Madame Gu but said in a statement that they took their role “protecting the integrity of the global financial system extremely seriously.”

A closer examination of Russian assets in the Emirates shows that even before the war in Ukraine, Dubai had become a playground for Russians with links to President Vladimir V. Putin. At least 38 businessmen or officials with ties to the Russian president own homes in Dubai that are collectively valued at more than $314 million, according to the Center for Advanced Defense Studies. Five of those owners are under U.S. sanctions.

Since the Russian invasion, Dubai has established itself as a safe haven for Russian yachts and aircraft unable to sail or fly elsewhere. After Russian jets were barred from the European Union in late February, the Emirates became the destination for 14 percent of all private flights leaving Russia, up from 3 percent before the invasion.

“It’s frustrating when you see huge assets that are sitting out there and it appears that the country is not cooperating,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island, referring to the Emirates. “It would be nice if there were more common cause against Putin while he’s busy shelling hospitals and schools.”

Mr. Whitehouse is sponsoring legislation that would use proceeds of the sales of seized Russian assets to help rebuild Ukraine. Senior officials at the Treasury and State Departments have also complained publicly about the situation.

U.S. officials view the presence of superyachts in places like Dubai and Bodrum, Turkey , as a symptom of wider Russian circumvention of sanctions and continued access to financial markets. Yachts have also come to symbolize the decadence of Russia’s oligarchs, especially at a time when Russian soldiers are scrounging for body armor and sleeping bags on the front lines.

Pursuing the Madame Gu

Built by the Dutch firm Feadship and put into service in 2013, the Madame Gu has a large helicopter pad on its forecastle with a hangar underneath that can double as a squash court when the chopper isn’t on board. The vessel has berthing for 36 crew members, according to one trade magazine.

Mr. Skoch, a member of Russia’s Parliament who is linked to assets worth billions of dollars, according to U.S. court filings, has had sanctions imposed on him twice by the United States, first in 2018 and then after Russia’s invasion this year. The Treasury Department has cited his “longstanding ties to Russian organized criminal groups.”

Mr. Skoch could not be reached and did not respond to messages left at his office at Parliament.

In an interview in October about the government’s broader efforts to go after the assets of oligarchs, Andrew Adams, a federal prosecutor leading the Department of Justice’s KleptoCapture task force, declined to discuss the Madame Gu. But the United States, he said, is warning companies they must not do business with individuals and assets under sanctions. The government, he said, will pursue oligarch-owned assets whose sale could be used to aid Ukraine.

“Where we know there is an asset that can potentially provide significant remuneration for Ukraine, that obviously is an attractive case to pursue,” he said.

U.S. officials are likely to use the case they made for impounding a $90 million Airbus business jet linked to Mr. Skoch in August as a blueprint for seizing the Madame Gu, said people familiar with the plan.

That means investigators will aim to show that the owner of the vessel, or the companies that have been providing services to it, have intersected with the U.S. financial system.

“If there are U.S. dollars or a U.S. nexus associated with supporting this vessel, massive enforcement actions could take place,” said Adam M. Smith, a former official overseeing sanctions at the Treasury Department. Companies that provide support to entities under sanctions could potentially face their own sanctions, said Mr. Smith, who is now a lawyer at Gibson Dunn in Washington.

This year the United States has carried out two high-profile seizures of yachts tied to Russians under sanctions, working with cooperative governments. The $300 million Amadea was taken in Fiji in May and sailed to San Diego under an American flag. In April, the United States worked with Spanish police to seize the $90 million Tango.

A Problematic Partner

Diplomatically, the Emirates has been reluctant to take a clear anti-Russian position when it comes to the war in Ukraine. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, president of the United Arab Emirates, recently met with Mr. Putin in St. Petersburg, and the Emirati foreign minister recently hosted his Russian counterpart. Yet Sheikh Mohammed has also talked with Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, more than once and recently gave the country $100 million in humanitarian aid.

The United States has publicly expressed dismay over the mixed messages.

During a visit to Dubai in June, Wally Adeyemo, the U.S. deputy treasury secretary, warned of the need for vigilance and proactive steps in combating Russian evasion. That same month Barbara Leaf, the State Department’s under secretary for Near East Affairs, said at a congressional hearing that regarding the Emirates, she was “not happy at all with the record at this point” on sanctions enforcement. Mr. Adeyemo reiterated his concerns in a meeting with Emirati officials in October in Washington.

A senior State Department official said in a statement to The New York Times that the agency continues “to reinforce the importance of conducting enhanced due diligence to prevent sanctions evasion and investigating allegations of such activity” to the Emirates.

The Treasury Department declined to comment on the Madame Gu or the relationship with the Emirates.

Last month, the Treasury Department announced it had placed sanctions on an Emirates-based company, Constellation Advisors Ltd., that the American government said was operating on behalf of a nephew of another Russian oligarch, Suleiman Kerimov. Mr. Kerimov, according to American court documents, was the owner of the Amadea superyacht .

American officials are also worried the Russian government is using the Emirates to acquire military supplies for its war in Ukraine. On Nov. 15, the Treasury Department imposed sanctions on two Emirates-based transportation firms that had worked with another Iranian firm under sanctions, which in turn had helped transport drones and personnel from Iran to Russia.

Moored in Dubai

Based on a recent visit to Dubai’s Mina Rashid Marina , where the Madame Gu is moored, it is clear that international companies are playing a critical role in its care.

The Emirates-based company DP World, through its subsidiary P&O Marinas , oversees the pier where the Madame Gu is moored. Employees from another DP World subsidiary , World Security, staff the small guard box at the entrance. That makes DP World, which is owned by Dubai’s royal family, potentially vulnerable to American sanctions.

DP World “fully complies with all applicable local and national laws and intends to continue doing the same regarding the Madame Gu and other vessels utilizing our services,” said Adal Mirza, a spokesman for the company. He added that DP World had not yet heard from the United States or other countries that had placed Mr. Skoch under sanctions, including Britain and the European Union.

A generator set that dock workers said in late October was powering the Madame Gu — two container-like structures near its stern — bore the distinctive orange logo of Aggreko , a British company. The generator set was connected to the superyacht by thick cords; one of the containers was emitting grayish exhaust.

At the Mina Rashid Marina, soon after Aggreko was contacted by The Times, workers removed the generator. “Having identified that the generator was being used to power a vessel that is allegedly connected to a sanctioned person, we immediately terminated this rental and have since recovered the generator,” the company said in a statement.

Mr. Mirza, the DP World spokesman, said the Aggreko generator had been replaced with one from a local supplier.

P&O Marinas arranged for the diesel generator to provide power for the Madame Gu because that part of the pier, a holding area, has no shore-supplied electric power, said a port official in Dubai, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to talk to the press.

“At the end of the day, if the U.A.E. hasn’t imposed sanctions, it’s not really their job to enforce other countries’ laws within their borders,” said Nabeel Yousef, a Washington-based partner at the law firm Freshfields, where he runs the sanctions practice. Nevertheless, “companies should not take comfort in the fact that their country has not imposed sanctions,” he added, “because even the smallest connection to the U.S. can lead to U.S. penalties.”

There has also been a notable absence onboard the Madame Gu in recent weeks: a flag. Unlike other ships moored nearby, including the Quantum Blue, a superyacht linked to the billionaire Sergei Galitsky, the Madame Gu appears to be stateless, apparently having been deflagged by the Cayman Islands.

Cayman Islands officials didn’t respond to an emailed inquiry about the ship’s status.

If DP World were to face fallout from U.S. sanctions enforcers, it wouldn’t be the first time the company has been the focus of attention in Washington. In 2006, DP World was seeking to manage some terminal operations at six American ports but dropped out of the deal after a bipartisan uproar in Congress.

Anton Troianovski contributed reporting from Turin, Italy, and Oleg Matsnev from Berlin.

Kate Kelly covers money, influence, and policy as a correspondent in the Washington bureau of the Times. Before that, she spent twenty years covering Wall Street deals, key players and their intersection with politics. She is the author of three books, including "The Education of Brett Kavanaugh." More about Kate Kelly

Michael Forsythe is a reporter on the investigations team. He was previously a correspondent in Hong Kong, covering the intersection of money and politics in China. He has also worked at Bloomberg News and is a United States Navy veteran. More about Michael Forsythe

Julian E. Barnes is a national security reporter based in Washington, covering the intelligence agencies. Before joining The Times in 2018, he wrote about security matters for The Wall Street Journal. More about Julian E. Barnes

Our Coverage of the War in Ukraine

News and Analysis

Russian missiles streaked into Kyiv  in the biggest assault on the Ukrainian capital in weeks, injuring several people and damaging several buildings.

Jake Sullivan, President Biden’s top national security official, made a secret trip to Kyiv to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky and reaffirm the United States’ unwavering commitment to Ukraine.

Under pressure to come up with billions of dollars to support Ukraine’s military, the E.U. said that it had devised a legal way to use frozen Russian assets  to help arm Ukraine.

Symbolism or Strategy?: Ukrainians say that defending places with little strategic value is worth the cost in casualties and weapons , because the attacking Russians pay an even higher price. American officials aren’t so sure.

Elaborate Tales: As the Ukraine war grinds on, the Kremlin has created increasingly complex fabrications online  to discredit Ukraine’s leader, Volodymyr Zelensky, and undermine the country’s support in the West.

Targeting Russia’s Oil Industry: With its army short of ammunition and troops to break the deadlock on the battlefield, Kyiv has increasingly taken the fight beyond the Ukrainian border, attacking oil infrastructure deep in Russian territory .

How We Verify Our Reporting

Our team of visual journalists analyzes satellite images, photographs , videos and radio transmissions  to independently confirm troop movements and other details.

We monitor and authenticate reports on social media, corroborating these with eyewitness accounts and interviews. Read more about our reporting efforts .

jeff bezos on the cover of forbes

10 Countries With The Most Billionaires

The world's billionaires' wealth doubled over the last ten years, increasing through the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis since 2020. According to the Executive Director of Oxfam International, "this decade is shaping up to be the best yet for billionaires." $26 trillion (63%) of all new wealth went to the richest 1% and $16 trillion (37%) to the rest of the world. In other words, a billionaire gained about $1.7 million for every $1 earned among the bottom 90%. 

According to the World Bank, the world has been facing the most significant increase in global inequality and poverty since the Second World War . Half of the world’s billionaires live in countries with no inheritance tax for direct descendants, deriving income from asset returns and only four cents of every tax dollar from taxes on wealth. An up to 5 % increase in the world’s multi-millionaires and billionaires' annual wealth tax (or implementing inheritance tax, property and land taxes, or net wealth taxes) would raise $1.7 trillion a year to lift 2 billion people out of poverty or provide universal healthcare and social protection for all low-income countries.

Infographic depicting the distribution of billionaires around the world

The current 3,311 billionaires worldwide hold almost $11.8 trillion in collective wealth acquired from publicly and privately held businesses. Europe saw the highest growth of billionaire wealth in 2021 at 22%, with collective wealth comprising $4.45 trillion. Even Africa's billionaire wealth grew 16.5% year-over-year, holding collectively 2 trillion dollars. These are the ten countries with the most billionaires in 2021, according to Altrata Billionaire Census.

1. United States - 975 billionaires (worth $4.45 trillion)

US Billionaires: Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos

The US is the world's wealthiest nation, with 975 billionaires and $4.45 trillion in collective wealth. The top rich hardly felt the pandemic's effects on the rest of the economy, coming out with a collective wealth of $4.56 trillion in April 2021, almost double that of the bottom 50% of Americans' $2.62 trillion. Amidst the pandemic, recession, and rocked financial markets, 719 billionaires had more wealth than 165 million people in 61 million households (the bottom half). About a quarter of the US' wealthiest reside in California , the state with the fifth-largest global economy and home to Silicon Valley .

Larry Ellison, US Billionaire and CTO of Oracle

The Golden State has been leading America's economic growth for half a decade, packing more wealth than most countries. California is a densely populated state with an “open, experimental culture” motto that attracts entrepreneurs. Its world-renowned movie scene, aerospace, and tech industries keep expanding and giving, with trending prosperity for the state and more wealth in its global economy. There is also no system or requirement for Americans to report their total wealth to the government. 

2. China - 514 (worth $1.737 trillion)

Jack Ma: the fifth wealthiest chinese person and cofounder of the Alibaba group

China packs a lot of wealth with 514 billionaires, including Hong Kong's 114, for a total of 1.737 trillion net worth. According to Forbes 2021 World’s Billionaires List, the number of Chinese billionaires rose by over 60% from 2000 to 2021, paralleling its astonishing economic growth with GDP per capita increasing more than ten-some and nearly 50% growth in the last six years.

China demonstrates idiosyncrasy with unheard-of billionaires appearing, others shifting, and disappearing, without a coherent pattern. Hong Kong's wealthiest families remain on the list since 1997, with Li and Lee leading wealth with nearly 70% of its entire real estate business. Many rich people find paradise particularly in the Hong-Kong SAR (special adminstrative region), whose government traditionally relied on land auctions' highest bidders for revenue. When Beijing came into power in 1997, it continued limiting competition and favoring the same tycoons, now dominating major economic sectors of retail and infrastructure.

Sunset over Victoria Harbor as viewed atop Victoria Peak

The vibrant Chinese market economy is ballooning from the rapid growth of high-tech infrastructure and shifting priorities, but limited by Hong Kong's failure to produce new wealth and diversify from a lack of startups. Hong Kong claims to be Asia’s financial hub and aspiring world city, a highly-contested statement for unwillingness to explore new engines of growth. Despite heightened instability from a lack of economic diversification, the Hong-Kong SAR showed the highest net increase in billionaires among global cities and the second-largest number among the world’s urban centers.

China is a dualistic capitalist-socialist economy with a solid central government orchestrating through top-down dynamic policies. It values entrepreneurship and strong business skills, with  People's Daily , the official newspaper of China's Communist Party, stating that "there is no contradiction between regulating under the law and supporting development." Chinese volatility in billionaires is just "the imprint left by the strong hand of China’s authoritarian government ."

3. Germany - 176 (worth $602 billion)

German billionaires: Stefan Quandt, Susanne Klatten, Kuehne Taufe, Reinhold Wurth, Dietmar Hopp Sinsheim

Despite soaring inflation, Germany places third with 176 billionaires, and millionaires, flying by 7.4% since last year, with today's 1.6 million millionaires, or one in roughly 52 people, for about 2% of the population. Capgemini agency explains Germany’s expanding wealth in the face of the pandemic due to its relentlessly-rising overall GDP. Despite the federal epidemic control restrictions and sky-high property prices, many Germans saved money by withholding disposable income through the holidays, giving-up trips, expensive events, and festivals. The high-income country, with a strong workforce saving every cent, saw many steps into the millionaire category.

Dieter Schwarz, a billionaire owner of Europe’s low-cost supermarket giant Lidl, had a successful year with a net worth increase of over $10 billion to $47.1 billion. Many were buying groceries rather than going out as part of the saving money scheme and tight COVID-19 regulations. Klaus-Michael Kuehne, a logistics magnate, recently emerged as one the wealthiest Europeans, making $11 billion in a year for an estimated $37.3 billion with Kühne + Nagel, his grandfather's shipping empire, demonstrating people's preference to order online through the pandemic. Another billionaire out of Germany's seven newest is Christian Angermayer, an investor in life sciences, fintech, AI, psychedelics, and cryptocurrencies. 

4. India - 166 (worth $384 billion)

Indian Billionaires: Guatam Adani, Lakshmi Mittal, Shiv Nadar, Kumar Mangalam Birla, Dilip Shanghvi

Since last year, India's increasing number of billionaires has held the fifth-largest collective wealth globally. While the country has been suffering through multiple crises, including malnutrition and unemployment, its ten wealthiest doubled their wealth since last year by enough to fund education for 26 years or guarantee employment for 38 years in India. Its richest man is Gautam Adani, with a $150 billion net worth, which is about twice the amount of his runner-up, Mukesh Ambani. From 2012 to 2021, 40% of new wealth belonged to 1% of the population and 3% to the bottom 50. India’s billionaires soared in wealth by 46% in 2022, and as of January 16, 2023, 5% of Indians own more than 60% of the country’s wealth, and the bottom 50 still possess only three. The “obscene inequality” results from no progressive taxation, while a 20% tax on the wealthiest billionaire’s unrealized gains from 2017–2021 could employ more than five million primary school teachers for a year.

Tourists photographing the most expensive house in Mumbai India

India's poor suffered through the pandemic, unable to afford survival necessities, with the number of hungry increasing by 160 million since 2018. Sixty-five percent of the country’s deaths are kids under five. India is “on a fast track to becoming a country only for the rich," where Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims, women, and informal sector workers are marginalized “in a system which ensures the survival of the richest.” India’s government reduced the corporate tax slabs from 30% to 22% in 2019. Some 64% of the total GST came from the bottom 50% of the population last year, 33 % from the middle 40, and 3% from the top 10.

5. United Kingdom - 120 (worth $266 billion)

Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson (born 18 July 1950) is a British billionaire, entrepreneur, commercial astronaut and business magnate. In the 1970s he founded the Virgin Group

Sir James Ratcliffe is the wealthiest man in the UK with an estimated $16.3 billion, followed by Michael Platt with an estimated $15.2 billion. There are no new British billionaires. Seven fell out, like Geeta Gupta-Fisker of electric vehicle startup "Fisker," Matt Molding of THG beauty and protein, and Eddie & Sol Zakay of the Topland Group real estate. Many of the world's super-rich favor living in London, particularly as the HQ location for big business owners to expand their companies. London attracts many Indian oligarchs, including those committing financial fraud and seeking refuge, such as Nirav Modi, Vijay Mallya, and Lalit Modi. The extradition treaty between the UK and India protects economic fugitives from the latter's harsh prison terms and the government’s attempts to influence investigating bodies.

aerial view of the river thames and city of London

The United Kingdom judiciary allowed Modi to stay, stating that his extradition was politically inclined. Among them, billionaires and criminals settle in London and live a wealthy life benefitting from British tax laws, the absence of a financial regulator, and money evasion opportunities. Others come for the British commodity trading markets, the renowned National Lottery System, and sports betting avenues. Lastly, the UK favors foreign investment and offers the lowest corporate taxes.

6. Switzerland - 111 (worth $365 billion)

guillame pousaz founder of checkout.com

The founder of Checkout.com, Guillaume Pousaz, is Switzerland’s most prosperous European top tech entrepreneur, worth some $23 billion, while Stéphane Bonvin, CEO of Investis real estate group, is the only new Swiss billionaire since last year. Switzerland's native and foreign-born 111, primarily white, male billionaires hold the sixth-largest collective wealth in the world. The few resident female billionaires include the Heineken heiress Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken, and Marina Picasso, Picasso's heiress. Many Swiss immigrants who come for traditionally-favorable taxation acquire Swiss citizenship. Roughly two-thirds of Switzerland’s 50 richest come from Germany, France, Italy, and the United Kingdom, along with numerous wealthy Russians, Swedish, Belgians, Dutch, and four Africans.

the Rolex Building in Geneva.

Swiss-made products, luxury housing, and the alps attract born-rich heirs and heiresses, with only a third of billionaires hailing from a middle-class background who build up from scratch. Most rich live in Geneva, with sizable families, like Theo Müller, with nine children. They come from exciting backgrounds, including Jorge Lemann, a former tennis star, or former L’Oréal Chairman Lindsay Owen Jones, a race car driver. Unlike US computer geeks, the Swiss' wealth spun out of investment and banking, food and beverage processing, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, hospitality, real estate, and everything in between.

7. Russia - 107 (worth $475 billion)

russian billionaires

According to Forbes 2021 Billionaire List, Russia’s billionaires were worth a collective $808.06 billion (US $584 billion) upon gaining much wealth during the pandemic. Many started as typical wealthy businessmen with privatized state companies sold by then-president Boris Yeltsin to raise cash and transition to capitalism. These included oil, gas, and media enterprises, which snagged at rock-bottom prices before Russia's economy returned to a degree of order. Russia's top billionaire today is NLMK Group's Vladimir Lisin, with an estimated $18.4 net worth from leading manufacturers of steel products. There are 34 fewer billionaires than last year, following a weakened ruble, plunging company valuations, and only two new billionaires. Denis Sverdlov owns an electric vehicle company, while Egor Kulkov is a pharmaceutical magnate.

Illuminated Skyscrapers Buildings of Moscow City business complex at dusk, Moscow, Russia.

Russia places seventh by the number of billionaires and boasts the fourth-largest collective wealth in the world, despite its wealth being under a massive hit from sanctions by the EU , UK , and the US. The billionaires' prospects are grim, with the West going after its elite to weaken the country and deter a full-on invasion in Ukraine. The sanctioned wealthy individuals with Kremlin ties face travel bans and have immense, vulnerable assets in the West. The US plans to freeze the Russian oligarch's assets, ban Americans from engaging in Russia's business and cut the country from the global financial system with no dollar access. All of Russia's banks took a big hit, along with VEB and Russia's military bank, sanctioned by the US. Germany and the US are attempting to stop the progress of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia to Germany .

8. Saudi Arabia - 71 (worth $192 billion)

Mohamed al amoudi saudi billionaire

When rising oil prices sharply reversed for the first time since the financial crash a decade ago, the whole Middle East experienced a 7.9% fall in billionaire numbers in 2018 and a 6.5% fall in collective wealth. While Europe retained the most number of billionaires through the recession, the Middle East held-onto most billionaires' net-worth. In 2019, the kingdom was home to 57 billionaires with a net worth of $157 billion and gained more ultra-rich during the pandemic through positive equity markets and expanding economies. Saudi Arabia then placed ninth with the most billionaires and retained this ranking into 2021, although their fortunes worsened since last year.

A corruption case in 2017 regarding top businessmen in the oil-rich kingdom saw many arrested following orders from the anti-corruption committee. Among the detained, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Kingdom Holding had a net worth of $18.7 billion in 2017, whose firm has high stakes in Twitter, Citigroup, and the Four Seasons. Unable to assess the wealth of the wealthiest men in the kingdom, Forbes has excluded Arabs from the global rich list since 2018. Today, Al Waleed Bin Talal Al Saoud is Saudi's richest person with a net worth of $16.5 billion, followed by Mohamed Al Amoudi with $6.29 billion.

9. France & Italy - 68 both (France: worth $294 billion; Italy: worth $217 billion)

The CEO of LVMH Bernard Arnaud at the salon VivaTech during the LVMH innovation awards.

France and Italy have 68 billionaires each, but France leads with the seventh-largest collective wealth in the world of $294 billion, while Italy has $87 billion less. Both nations are billionaire hotspots for high fashion, rich culture, expansive art, and luxurious coastal mansions. France's economy is driven by the most-famous luxury, beauty, and fashion brands, and those who invest in big names like Bernard Arnault (LVMH), Francoise Bettencourt Meyers (L'Oréal), François Pinault (Kering), and the Wertheimer brothers (Chanel). French brand owners are among top-ten richest people in Europe, including the richest, Bernard Arnault with $158 billion, Rodolphe Saade with $41 billion (fifth-richest), and Francois Pinault with $40 billion (sixth-richest). There has been one more French billionaire since last year, and 7% added to the total net worth. 

June 2015 - Giorgio Armani posed during the Milan fashion week

Likewise, in Italy, brand owners are the richest. As of August 14, Giovanni Ferrero is number one with $33.8 billion, and Giorgio Armani is the second-richest with $6.9 billion. Among the world's richest men in 2002, Silvio Berlusconi and his family are now third with $6.1 billion. Massimiliana Landini Aleotti is the richest female billionaire, with $4.9 billion. According to Italy’s inheritance tax records, the wealth of the top 0.1% or 50,000 adults doubled from 5.5% to 9.3% from 1995 to 2016, while the poorest 50% wealth fell from 11.7% to 3.5%. The middle class, about 40% of the population, keeps its wealth relatively high. Italy has one of the highest wealth-to-income ratios where some 8.5 trillion euros equals about seven years of national income.

10. Canada - 60 (worth $270 billion)

Canadian Billionaires: ChangPeng Zhao, Jimmy Pattison

Some Canadians struggled during the pandemic, rationing little money for food and utility bills, while others got richer than they ever dreamt. Billionaires' total assets have grown by 51% since the pandemic's start, accelerating Canada's trend of already-high wealth inequality. As of August 4, 2022, the richest are David Thomson with 51.7 billion U.S. dollars, Changpeng Zhao with $17.4 billion, and Jim Pattison with $12.1 billion. Since 2020, billionaires' collective wealth has risen by $78 billion.The top richest, with $249 billion, has about the same as the bottom 40%, with $248 billion in assets. According to Ian Thomson, policy manager of Oxfam Canada, the accelerated wealth increase among billionaires is a shocking trend, where "things just picked up dramatically ever since 2020 and during the pandemic time period.” Out of every $100 of new wealth created in Canada within the last ten years, the richest 1% gained $34, while the bottom gained $5, or seven times less, among many more people. 

According to Oxfam, nearly two-thirds of all new wealth of $42 trillion since 2020 went to the richest 1%, for almost double the amount the rest of the world gained in two years. Many surged in wealth in 2022 from food and energy profits, where 95 food and energy corporations more than doubled in earnings since last year. At least half of inflation in Australia, the US, and the UK was from excess corporate profits. The Waltons, who own half of Walmart, made $8.5 billion, while India's energy magnate Gautam Adani soared with $42 billion more in 2022 alone. 

Depending on the country’s economy and a billionaire’s role, many dropped to millionaire ranks during the pandemic, while others gained more wealth. Favoring the mega-rich is a 40-year trend, where many governments slash income tax rates on the richest while upping taxes on goods and services. Out of 15 countries by billionaire population, all but the UK, Russia, and France saw a fall in numbers, and all Asia-Pacific billionaires declined in population and total wealth. In 2018, North America was the only region with an increased billionaire population.

While some bathe in money, entire countries face bankruptcies, and 1.7 billion workers live amidst inflation that is outpacing wages. Over 820 million people (one in ten on Earth) are hungry, with nearly 60% of women and girls as the world’s hungriest. The poorest countries spend quadruple to repay loans to wealthy creditors than on healthcare. At the same time, three-quarters of the world governments plan public sector spending cuts of $7.8 trillion over the next five years, including healthcare and education.

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