Economy

Slim tops Forbes’ world’s top billionaires

PTI New York | Updated on March 10, 2011 Published on March 10, 2011

Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim remained the richest person in the world with $74 billion in assets, while NRI steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal ranked sixth and Indian industrialist Mukesh Ambani is placed ninth in the US magazine Forbes annual list of world’s top billionaires.

Telecom tycoon Helu, whose worth increased by $20.4 billion from last year’s $53.5 billion, is followed by Microsoft founder and now a full time philanthropist William Gates III (popularly known as Bill Gates) with a net worth of $56 billion.

Investment guru Warren Buffet is at the third spot with assets worth $50 billion.

Total number of billionaires, this year, has increased to a record 1,210 from 1,011 last year. Though America has the 33 per cent of the mega-rich, Asia-Pacific region has surged forward and overtook Europe for the first time.

The Chairman of French luxury goods outfit, Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH), Mr Bernard Arnault, has been placed at the fourth spot. With a net worth of $41 billion, he is the richest person in Europe. He has replaced Mr Ambani this year.

Fifth place has been taken over by Mr Larry Ellison of Oracle. The Oracle chief sits atop a fortune of $39.5 billion, which is $11.5 billion bigger than last year, thanks to a 30 per cent jump in his software company’s shares.

Mr Mittal ranked sixth with $31.1 billion of wealth. His wealth grew from $28.7 billion last year as his company ArcelorMittal, world’s largest steel-maker, registered a profit of $2.9 billion due to recovery in steel demand and higher margins in 2010, Forbes said.

Mr Mukesh Ambani, with a net asset of value U$27 billion, lost five places and was placed at ninth position in this year’s list. Last year, he held the fourth spot, with a net asset of $29 billion, followed by Mr Mittal at fifth place.

“In one of the biggest foreign investments in India, Reliance Industries has signed a deal with BP by selling 30 per cent stake in 23 oil blocks in India for $7.2 billion and forming a marketing joint venture,” the magazine said.

According to Forbes, the number of billionaires has increased from 49 to 55 in India, 69 to 115 in China, 25 to 36 in Hong Kong, and across Asia-Pacific it surged from 243 to 332.

Other Indians among the top 100 include, Wipro chief Mr Azim Premji at 36th spot ($16.8 billion), Mr Shahi and Mr Ravi Ruia at 42nd place ($15.8 billion), Ms Savitri Jindal has been ranked 56th ($13.2 billion), Mr Gautam Adani at 87th ($10 billion) and Mr Kumar Birla at 97th ($9.2 billion).

Published on March 10, 2011
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