Forbes: PM Orbán’s friend is the world’s 2057th wealthiest person
According to the American edition of Forbes magazine, Lőrinc Mészáros became the 2057th richest person in the world with a fortune estimated to be around 1 billion dollars. There are only two Hungarians on the list; he is preceded by OTP bank CEO Sándor Csányi (1.1 billion dollars).
Construction, bank, oil
Interestingly, according to the Hungarian edition of the magazine published in 2018 December, Lőrinc Mészáros was the richest person in Hungary by owning around 1.15 billion EUR – as we reported then.
Forbes.com highlights that Lőrinc Mészáros (53) founded a small gas-fitting company in Felcsút, the hometown of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, in 1990. Later, Orban, who founded the Ferenc Puskas Football Academy, tapped Meszaros to be its president. Mészáros gas-fitting company, Mészáros & Mészáros Ltd, is now a big player in the construction market thanks to contracts from the government. They even cite one of his answers about his success: “That I have been able to come so far, God, luck
and the person of Viktor Orbán have certainly played a role.“
In the case of Csányi, the other Hungarian billionaire on the list, they say that as the CEO of OTP Bank, one of the largest financial services firms in Central and Eastern Europe, he is the most powerful banker in Hungary. Furthermore, he is also the nation’s biggest investor in agriculture, whose Bonafarm operates the 2nd biggest slaughterhouse in the nation. He also sits on the board of regional oil giant MOL.
In 2010, Mészáros had only 320,000 EUR
As we reported before, Mészáros’s wealth consists of two parts: stock papers in companies registered by the Budapest Stock Market and the companies Mészáros and Mészáros Ltd and R-Kord Ltd. These two former enterprises
get many purchase orders from the government.
For example, he won just in 2017 more than 476 billion forints (EUR 1.515 billion) on public procurements. Additionally, he has lands, other private capital investments, other goods, football teams, and investments abroad. His wealth in 2010 was only 320,000 EUR and in 2015 (before PM Orbán’s and former Fidesz-close oligarch Lajos Simicska’s fight started) 27M EUR. He said about his fabulous enrichment which was quicker than Mark Zuckerberg’s that he was probably smarter than Facebook-founder. However, he is still far from the Hungarian government’s greatest adversary (or at least they communicate so),
George Soros who has 8.3B dollars and is 178th.
Interestingly, forbes.com did not find any billionaires in Serbia, Croatia or Slovenia. The Romanian Ion Tiriac is 1818th while the Slovakian Jaroslav Hascak and Ivan Chrenko are 2057th and 1425th. In Ukraine, suffering from the biggest economic depression in its History, forbes.com found seven billionaires.
In fact, forbes.com says that by their latest count
there are 2,153 billionaires, 55 fewer than a year ago.
Of those, a record 994, or 46%, are poorer (relatively speaking) than they were last year. In total, the ultra-rich are worth $8.7 trillion, down $400 billion from 2018. Altogether 11% of last year’s list members, or 247 people, dropped out of the ranks, the most since 2009 at the height of the global financial crisis.