Topping the list of Canada’s wealthiest ‘losers’ are two mining magnates


Topping the list of Canada's wealthiest 'losers' are two mining magnates

Don’t worry – most of Canada’s wealthiest people are doing just fine. In fact, a big chunk of the country’s billionaires saw their fortunes balloon in 2013, based on Canadian Business’ list of Canada’s most well-to-do.

Laurence Ho – the CEO of Melco International Development – who wasn’t even on the list in 2012, became 124% richer last year, earning himself the title of Canada’s 58th-wealthiest person.

But out of the top-100 richest people, seven actually saw their wealth decrease in 2013.

Not surprisingly, some notable figures in the mining industry top last year’s list of “biggest losers.”

In the number one spot, based on percentage of wealth lost, is Eric Sprott – hedge-fund manager and major gold bug.

Sprott’s billion-dollar fortune declined by 17% in 2013 as precious metals prices tanked, recording their worst year in decades.

But this isn’t a new trend: In 2012, the billionaire’s fortune shed 19%.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Sprott’s flagship fund lost more than 50% over the year.

Meanwhile, the hedge-fund manager has argued that Central Banks have been orchestrating the price of gold and that physical demand is booming.

“We already have a shortage of physical gold, it’s just that no one knows it yet, and the banks have been supplying it,” Sprott said in an interview with Tekao da Silva last month.

Despite his losses, Sprott is still Canada’s 75th-wealthiest person.

Second on the list for biggest losses is the poster boy for junior miners, Robert Friedland.

Friendland’s wealth declined by 14% in 2013, pulling his fortune just below $1 billion and ranking him as Canada’s 87th-richest person.

But hey, at least it’s not as bad as last year. The 53-year old founder of Ivanhoe Mines (TSE:IVN) topped 2012’s list of biggest losers as he saw his wealth decline by more than 60%.

Friendland owns about 9% of Turquoise Hill (NYSE:TRQ) which shed about 65% of its value in 2013. His Ivanhoe Mine’s dropped 64% during that time.

Lately the former billionaire has been pursuing a very different interest. Last year the mining tycoon launched his new company, Ivanhoe Pictures, to “finance and produce film and television projects that have broad appeal to a global audience.”

The remaining five billionaire “losers” on the list – none of which are in the mining industry – saw their fortunes decline by between five and one percent.

To see the full list of Canada’s 100 wealthiest people click here.

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