Reports: Clive Palmer loses $1 billion in a year

FROM next week, political provocateur Clive Palmer's team will hold the balance of power but he may have lost some grip on his finances with new figures suggesting he lost $1 billion in just 12 months.

Clive has still kept his title of "billionaire" with $1.2 billion to his name according to the annual Australian Top 200 rich list published by finance magazine BRW.

The figure is not enough to keep him among Australia's richest, with mining heiress Gina Rinehart topping the list with $20 billion despite losing twice as much as Clive since mid-2013.

A spokesman for Clive disputed the calculations, saying the political leader's wealth had remained unchanged for the past five years.

Gina is well above her nearest competitor, Anthony Pratt, whose American manufacturing firm has generated $7.6 billion.

The top five is rounded out by media mogul turned casino developer James Packer at $7.1 billion, property developer Frank Lowy at $7.15 billion and Swiss-based mining boss Ivan Glasenberg with $6.6 billion.

Those aspiring to be among the gold-plated personalities also face an increasingly difficult battle.

There are now 39 billionaires in the Top 200, the highest ever.

Victorians have edged out the New South Welsh to have 63 on the list, with NSW supplying 62 and Queensland delivering 29.

Another 20 are based overseas.

The property sector is where most of the rich list have made their dough, with 53 from their industry landing in the ranks.

Although Gina topped it, only 17 others made the list from the resources sector.

The richest new face for the list was Chinese-Australian entrepreneur Huang Bingwen, 60, with $1.26 billion, made through his paper printing company.

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