US think tank ranks Andrej Babiš world’s fifth most politically powerful billionaire

17-09-2014

Czech Finance Minister Andrej Babiš came fifth in a global billionaire political power index compiled by the US think tank Brookings Institute. The ranking, released ahead of the institute’s upcoming book Billionaires: Reflections on the Upper Crust, is topped by Bill and Melinda Gates, followed by George Soros and China’s Jack Ma. Mr Babiš, whose assets are estimated at between 75 and 90 billion crowns, built an agriculture, food and chemistry empire in the Czech Republic before his party, ANO, came second in last year’s general elections. He also owns a prominent Czech media company. As finance minister, he has proven to be a strong voice for reducing government spending, according to the survey.