Friday, March 13, 2009

Holding still one of world’s wealthiest

Resort owner ranked No. 205 on Forbes’ list

Express Staff Writer

Sun Valley Resort owner Earl Holding is still part of the world's elite club of billionaires, despite losing an estimated $1.6 billion in the last six months.

That's according to Forbes magazine's report titled "The World's Billionaires," a compilation published March 11.

Holding, 82, is apparently one of the more fortunate ones.

"Last year, the world had 1,125 billionaires. Today, there are 793," the article states.

On the 2009 list, Holding is No. 205, with a personal fortune of $3 billion, Forbes reports.

While the figures in the annual report often stun readers for their magnitude, this year's story is more about losses than eye-popping gains. The world's billionaires have lost about $1.4 trillion in wealth over the last 12 months, the report notes, leaving that much less cash in the economy to fund businesses, research and charities.

Software titan Bill Gates, 53, took the top position this year, despite losing some $18 billion in the last 12 months, Forbes reports. His holdings are estimated to be $40 billion. Investment guru Warren Buffett, 78, last year's No. 1, lost an estimated $25 billion in the last year, dropping him to the No. 2 spot. Buffett's fortune is now estimated to be $37 billion. Communications magnate Carlos Slim Helu, 69, of Mexico, was ranked third with a personal net worth of $35 billion.

Holding is the owner of Sinclair Oil Co., Sun Valley resort and several other high-profile properties, including Snowbasin ski area and the 395-unit Grand America Hotel, both in Utah. He also operates a chain of Little America resorts, with the flagship property located along Interstate 80 in southern Wyoming.

Holding and his wife, Carol, maintain a part-time residence in Sun Valley.

With Sinclair, Holding owns three refineries, 1,000 miles of pipeline and 2,600 filling stations, the report states. His losses in recent months stem from a "difficult environment for oil refiners," the article says.

Forbes' Top 10

William Gates III, $40 billion

Warren Buffett, $37 billion

Carlos Slim Helu & family, $35 billion

Lawrence Ellison, $22.5 billion

Ingvar Kamprad & family, $22 billion

Karl Albrecht, $21.5 billion

Mukesh Ambani, $19.5 billion

Lakshmi Mittal, $19.3 billion

Theo Albrecht, $18.8 billion

Amancio Ortega, $18.3 billion

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