The total fortune of the 15 wealthiest Argentines has been estimated at 26.85 billion dollars, falling just shy of the 27.679 billion dollars currently in the Central Bank’s foreign reserve account, according to a list of the country’s richest people published recently by the local edition of Forbes magazine.
Alejandro and Carlos Bulgheroni, the owners of the Bridas Corporation, which holds a stake of Pan-American Energy, jointly top the list with 5.88 billion.
Pan-American Energy, which is 60% owned by BP with the balance held by Bridas and Chinese company CNOOC. The firm pulled down the curtain on 2013 having drilled 180 new wells at the Cerro Dragón oil field in Comodoro Rivadavia, also consolidating the establishment of Axion, the company they set up to run a refinery in Campana and petrol stations they purchased from ExxonMobil in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.
In second place with 3.4bn, Forbes lists Paolo Rocca, the president of the Techint Group’s Tenaris and Ternium, the world’s leading producers of seamless steel pipes chiefly for the oil industry. Rocca holds major stakes in Techint with his older brother, Gianfelice, who resides in Italy, which they inherited from their father and Techint founder, Roberto Rocca.
Gregorio Pérez Companc and family place third with 2.8 billion. Now retired, Pérez Companc was at the helm of Molinos Río de la Plata, Argentina’s largest food company, for 25 years.
Corporación América owner Eduardo Eurnekian was the fourth richest in 2013, declaring 2.2 billion. The group paid 200 million for an 81% stake in oil company CFC.
Jorge Pérez, the founder of The Related Group, a premier real estate developer established in 1979 that primarily operates in South Florida, was fifth, worth 1.55 billion.
In sixth, Alberto Roemmers and family held 1.35 billion earned through the largest pharmaceutical holding company in the country, Laboratorio Roemmers, founded by Alberto’s father. The family also owns olive groves.
María Inés de Lafuente Lacroze, the only heiress of Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat, is the richest woman in Argentina, possessing several works of art and properties in Argentina, the United States and Uruguay, which bring her total worth to 1.26 billion.
Not far behind in eighth place, Forbes said Arcor CEO Luis Alejandro Pagani had amassed a total net worth of 1.25bn by the end of last year. Arcor, worth an estimated 2.28 billion with annual sales that rose to 14bn and a net profit of 44m in 2013, is the largest global producer of sweets.
Still above the billionaire mark, Roberto Urquía — one of the owners of Aceitera General Deheza, the largest soybean oil exporter in Argentina— was in ninth place with 1.2 billion, followed with exactly the same sum by Edith Rodríguez de Rey, the widow of the late Luis Alberto Rey, the engineer who founded oil company PlusPetrol and Papel Prensa.
Transport logistics magnate Alfredo Román was eleventh with 1.11 bn, while Insud group head Hugo Sigman was the last billionaire on the list with 1 billion.
Real estate development lawyer Samuel Liberman came in at thirteenth with 950 million, followed in fourteenth by Enrique Eskenazi with 850 million, the head of the Petersen Group.
Carlos Blaquier and family take up the last slot on the list with a net worth of 840m. The businessman holds a 90% stake in sugar company Ledesma with the mother of his children, María Elena Arrieta Wollman.