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Eric Sprott, outgoing CEO of Sprott Inc.

His wealth is not a surprise to anyone in Canada who has watched him prosper, but investor Eric Sprott is under the radar enough in the rest of the world to land on a new global list of "hidden billionaires."

Bloomberg Markets magazine ranks Mr. Sprott as one of the globe's unsung billionaires, along with a French advertising heiress, a German appliance entrepreneur and a Moroccan property developer.

Mr. Sprott's wealth is estimated by Bloomberg at "at least $1.3-billion (U.S.)," based mostly on his publicly disclosed holdings in Sprott Inc. and some other Sprott-related companies, including Sprott Physical Gold Trust, stakes that have both hugely benefited from the run in gold. There may be more wealth in other private holdings, acknowledged Matthew Miller, Bloomberg's new billionaire reporter (yes, they have such a thing).

Mr. Sprott met the major criterion for inclusion -- he had not yet appeared on any other rich list.

Mr. Miller in an interview said that he expects to uncover a whole lot more billionaires, maybe not hundreds but definitely "scores," as part of his mandate as head of Bloomberg's new team covering wealthy individuals. The news organization hired Mr. Miller from Forbes and one of his goals is to ferret out stories of wealth that haven't yet been told.

Mr. Sprott's $1.3-billion puts him toward the bottom of the new ranking. Moroccan developer Anas Sefrioui is estimated to have a fortune of at least $2.7-billion, German appliance manufacturer Siegried Meister and his family are reckoned to be worth at least $2.2-billion and Peruvian banking and retail king Carlos Rodriguez-Pastor has collected assets worth at least $3-billion, according to Bloomberg Markets.

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