By Wendy Williams

WHILE the rest of the world may still be reeling from the effects of the recession but the Spanish head of fashion firm Zara has just got richer.

The fortune of Amancio Ortega has now exceeded 20 billion euros securing his place as the richest man in Spain and placing him quite comfortably in the world’s top ten.

According to Forbes he is now the world’s ninth richest man.

His recent growth in wealth comes thanks to a rise in the stock market value of his flagship company Inditex, of which he retains 59.29 per cent of the shares.

The textile group’s shares reached record highs this week, boosted by the launch of an online store for Zara.

Customers are now able to buy products over the internet on dedicated sites in France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain and
the UK.

Since being first traded on the Madrid stock exchange on May 23, 2001 at a price of 14.7 euros, the share price of Inditex has almost quadrupled in value.

But the fashion and retail entrepreneur has not yielded to the temptation to sell more of his shares.

And so he will now pocket 443.5 million euros when the dividends are distributed later this year.

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