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A new billionaire is on top in Denmark

[COPENHAGEN] There's a new billionaire on top in Denmark after Niels Louis-Hansen saw his wealth climb almost 50 per cent this year spurred by his holdings in medical device companies.

Mr Louis-Hansen, the biggest investor in ostomy-bag maker Coloplast, has seen his net worth climb to US$7 billion this year, dethroning Troels Holch Povlsen, owner of clothing retailer Bestseller, as Denmark's richest. Mr Povlsen hasn't had a bad year either, seeing his fortune climb 6.2 per cent to US$6.7 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Shares in Coloplast are up about 41 per cent this year, meaning the 70-year-old's 21 per cent stake has climbed about nine billion kroner (S$1.9 billion) in market value. Mr Louis-Hansen's other main investment, endoscopy-maker Ambu, has done even better. The shares are up 125 per cent in 2018, making the billionaire 5.3 billion kroner richer.

"He has been able to find some very profitable niches in the stock market," Morten Larsen, an analyst at ABG Sundal Collier, said. "He's a long-term investor who has been able to look beyond short-term volatility and that has made him extremely successful."

For years, Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen of the Lego family was an undisputed No 1 on Denmark's rich list, but he lost his place recently after transferring some of his wealth to his three children. He's now third with a net worth of about US$5.3 billion. Still, when adding the wealth of the children, who sit on US$5.1 billion each, the Lego family is worth more than Mr Louis-Hansen and Mr Povlsen combined.

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