Casino mogul James Packer has been named Australia’s richest boss with a personal wealth of $4.83 billion, landing him the top spot on BRW’s Rich Bosses List.
Based solely on the value of his Crown Casino stock, Packer was more than $2 billion richer than the next top boss, TPG founder David Teoh, who has wealth of $2.73 billion.
The list, which is based on personal shareholdings, was rounded out in the top five by Kerr Neilson, Platinum Asset Management chief executive ($2.55 billion), Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corporation ($1.64 billion) and Kerry Stokes, Seven Group Holdings executive chairman ($1.48 billion).
BRW noted the recent flood of Aussie companies listing on the Australian Securities Exchange helped to push those companies’ top bosses up the list, with eight chief executives of seven companies that have listed in the past 18 months among the top 30.
Unemployment rate makes surprise fall
Australia’s unemployment rate has bucked expectations by falling to 6.1% for March, from a revised 6.2%, the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed today.
The number of people employed increased by 37,700 for the month to hit 11,720,300. The number of men in full-time employment increased by 24,800, while the number of women in full-time employment increased by 6,700.
The country’s participation rate also climbed to 64.8% in March, from a revised 64.7% in February.
Shares up on open
Australian stocks have made some gains this morning, following a positive lead from Wall Street overnight.
Tristan K’Nell, head of trading at Quay Equities, said the reversal in this week’s negative trend is due to a “big bounce in crude oil”. But the local market was also surprised by the official employment figures released this morning, with the Australian dollar “rallying on the back of the news”, although little changed on the sharemarket.
“The data [puts] a spanner in the works head of the RBA’s May interest rate meeting,” K’Nell said in a statement.
“Prior to the data the market had priced in a rate cut however given the positivity of today’s numbers, this may see the RBA possibly extend its hold. Some good news for our struggling economy today.”
The S&P/ASX 200 benchmark was up 40.2 points to 5948.6 points at 12.04pm AEST. On Wednesday, the Dow Jones closed 75.91 points higher, up 0.42% to 18112.6 points.