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Bear market rally benefits billionaires

Source: PTI
June 01, 2009 13:07 IST
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The financial turmoil may have hit them hard but many of the American billionaires, including the likes of media baron Rupert Murdoch, saw their paper wealth climb by millions of dollars as the stock market soared in little over two months.

US business magazine Forbes has named 10 billionaires -- only the entrepreneurs owning significant stakes in publicly traded companies -- who have profited from the recent rally in the stock market.

Together, these individuals have seen a combined paper profit of $12.1 billion. Their privately held fortunes were excluded from calculating the gains.

Apart from Murdoch, casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, Kirk Kerkorian who has investments in MGM Mirage and John Calamos Sr of Calamos Asset Management also feature in the 'Bear Market Billionaires' list compiled by the magazine.

Topping the league is Adelson who made $3.3 billion on paper from the bear market rally. His stocks in gambling firm Las Vegas Sands had a return of "550 per cent" during this period.

"The plutocrats were ranked by the percentage return on their stakes between March 9, when the S&P 500 hit bottom, and May 15. The group returned an average of 117 per cent in that period, besting the S&P 500, which returned 31 per cent. They generated a combined paper profit of $12.1 billion," Forbes said.

Murdoch saw an 80 per cent return from his stock holdings in News Corp and gained $1.4 billion. Kirkorian's stake in MGM Mirage returned $800 million whereas Calamos made $710 million from his shares in Calamos Asset Management.

Others in the list are Steve Wynn, Stephen Schwarzman, Charles Dolan & family, Charles Ergen, Harold Hamm and George Kaiser.

Wynn raked in $540 million from stocks in Wynn Resorts while Schwarzman saw a gain of $1.4 billion from his stake in investment firm Blackstone.

Further, Charles Dolan & family profited by $670 million from their shares in Cablevision Systems Corp, Ergen gained $1.5 billion from his stocks in Dish Network and Hamm made $1.2 billion from investments in Continental Resources.

Kaiser gained $630 million from his stake in BOK Financial.

"After losing $23 billion between February 2008 and February 2009, Adelson has recouped billions of dollars in recent months. Since mid-November when Adelson injected $1 billion into Las Vegas Sands in a bid to avoid bankruptcy, the company's shares have jumped 75 per cent," the report said.

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