Meet the world's youngest billionaire

She's the youngest billionaire on the planet, according to the latest Forbes list of who's who in the world of wealth.

But little is known about 24-year-old Perenna Kei, other than that it clearly pays to be loyal to her father.

Kei, who has an estimated net worth of $US1.3 billion ($1.45 billion), is the 85 per cent shareholder and non-executive director of Chinese real estate giant Logan Properties, headquartered in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen.

Her father is Ji Haipeng, Logan's chairman and chief executive.

The company, which had 2012 revenue of about $1 billion, went public in December last year and its stock rose 2.4 per cent on the first day of trading.

Kei, a Hong Kong native, is a newcomer to the Forbes World's Billionaires list which was released on Monday, US-time. She displaced former Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz as the youngest billionaire.

But despite her incredible wealth, little is known about Kei, and no photographs of her have been publicly released.

Forbes reported that Kei holds a bachelor's degree in economics and finance from the University of London.

Company documents indicate that Kei acts “in accordance with Mr Ji's directions”, according to Forbes. She is formally identified as “Kei Perenna Hoi Ting” in company documents, which state that she once went by the name “Ji Peili”.


The documents do not indicate why Kei changed her names in English, however Forbes reported that well-off or politically connected Chinese sometimes use more than one name in order to conceal wealth or avoid publicity.

The 39 youngest people on the 2014 World's Billionaires list have a combined net worth of $115.7 billion. Facebook employees past, present and future–including Sean Parker, Mark Zuckerberg and WhatApp's Jan Koum–account for 42 per cent of that figure.

The surging price of Microsoft shares returned US tech tycoon Bill Gates back to the top of the list, with his $76 billion, beating out Mexico's Carlos Slim's $72 billion.

The annual list counted 1645 men and women as billionaires, with an average wealth of $4.5 billion and a collective wealth of $6.4 trillion, up $1 trillion from a year ago.

Gates, co-founder of the US software firm, showed his staying power at the top - the world's richest man for 15 of the past 20 years, according to Forbes - despite spending recent years giving away large sums of money to global health and anti-poverty programs.

Gates owns about 4.4 per cent of Microsoft, making up less than 20 per cent of his total fortune.

But the company's share price has risen 25 per cent over the past year, and, along with gains in other assets, he has added $7 billion to his fortune since a year ago, according to Forbes.

Slim, with a hand in everything from telecommunications (America Movil) to mining, finance and industry (Grupo Carso), to retailing and real estate across the Americas region, was worth $US1 billion less than a year ago, hit in part by sagging markets in South America.

In third was Spain's Amancio Ortega, whose pockets have filled with profits from fashion: his hugely successful Inditex garment empire, parent of popular chains Zara, Pull & Bear, and Bershka.

More recently, Ortega heavily invested in real estate in Europe and the United States; his worth was put at $64 billion.

A familiar cast of mega-wealthy filled out the rest of the top 10: US investment guru Warren Buffett ($58.2 billion); software group Oracle's founder and chief executive Larry Ellison ($48 billion); US industrialists and brothers Charles and David Koch (each with $40 billion); Las Vegas casino king Sheldon Adelson ($38 billion); Walmart heiress Christy Walton ($36.7 billion) and her brother Jim Walton ($34.7 billion).

Together the $507 billion held by the top 10 is larger than the entire size of the economy of Norway, or Belgium or Poland in 2012. with AFP