From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
Frank Timis Named Richest Australian in Britain...$350m investment in Sierra Leone
By Sorie Sudan Sesay
May 11, 2011, 17:18

Romanian-born businessman, Frank Timis, has leapfrogged three top hedge fund managers to become the wealthiest Australian in Britain, according to Britainís leading newspaper Sunday Times Rich List.

The 48-year-old Timis got a total net worth of £670m, equal with the land-owning Duke of Devonshire as the 110th richest person in Britain and making him an Australian dollar billionaire worth $1.03 billion.

The list, released on the weekend, claims Timis has a fortune of £670 million, or just over $1 billion, thanks to the strong performance of his mining interests.

Timis after a trip to Sierra Leone in 2008, where he and singer Bob Geldof (left) had been investigating solutions to a widespread malaria problem.

One of his largest investments, in London-listed miner African Minerals, has climbed almost 70% in the last 12 months in which he has stake worth about $350 million.

News that Timis has become the richest Australian on the Sunday Times Rich List comes just over a year after the Australian Securities Exchange took the unusual step of preventing him from taking major shareholdings and directorships in two listed companies, Global Iron and International Petroleum.

The decision was however later overturned, and both companies went on to list on the National Stock Exchange with Timis as a director.

The $650 million rise in Timisí fortune puts him in front of fellow British-based Australian rich list members Michael Hintze (valued at $837 million) and Greg Coffey ($383 million).

The rich list suggests Britainís wealthy continue to bounce back impressively from the GFC. Collectively, the 1,000 members of this list saw their fortunes jump 18% to just under $612 billion.

There are now 73 billionaires on the list, up from 53 last year and close to the peak of 75 recorded in 2008, just before the GFC.

Lakshmi Mittal, head of giant Indian group ArcelorMittal, topped the list for the seventh consecutive year, despite his fortune falling 22% to $17.5 billion.

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