NEW YORK: Volatile stock markets, cratering oil prices and a stronger dollar led to a dynamic reshuffling of wealth around the globe. Forbes magazine’s annual ranking of the world’s wealthiest this week showed that, as of the middle of February, there were fewer billionaires this year than last year.
According to Forbes’ estimates there were only 1,810 people worth 10-figures compared to 1,826 a year earlier. The surviving billionaires were worth a combined total of $6.48 trillion last month, down 8% from a year earlier.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates maintained the top spot as the world’s richest person. His estimated $75 billion net worth, down from $79.2 billion last year, gave him the number one position for the 17th time in the last 22 years, Forbes said.
Spanish clothing retailer Amancio Ortega, best known in the U.S. for the Zara fashion chain, moved up two spots to second place as his estimated net worth increased $2.5 billion to $67 billion, the listing showed.
Famed business investor Warren Buffett kept third place in the ranking even though his net worth dropped $11.9 billion to an estimated total of $60.8 billion.
Mexican telecom magnate and investor Carlos Slim Helú ranked fourth, down two spots from last year, as his estimated net worth fell to $50 billion from the $77.1 billion Forbes reported in 2015.
Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos moved up to fifth place from the 15th spot last year as his net worth increased to $45.2 billion.
Forbes Top 10 Richest People 2016
- Bill Gates, $75 billion, Microsoft.
- Amancio Ortega, $68.2 billion, Zara.
- Warren Buffet, 63.4 billion, Berkshire Hathaway.
- Carlos Slim, $53.2 billion, América Móvil.
- Jeff Bezos, $48.9 billion, Amazon.com.
- Mark Zuckerberg, $46.7 billion, Facebook.
- Larry Ellison, $45.2 billion, Oracle.
- Michael Bloomberg, $40 billion, Bloomberg.
- Charles Koch, $41 billion, Koch Industries.
- David Koch, $41 billion, Koch Industries.
Forbes Top 10 Billionaire Countries 2016
- US, 540 billionaires
- China (mainland), 251 billionaires
- Germany, 120 billionaires
- India, 84 billionaires
- Russia, 77 billionaires
- Hong Kong, 64 billionaires
- Japan, 64 billionaires
- United Kingdom, 50 billionaires
- Italy, 43 billionaires
- France, 39 billionaires
Forbes Top 10 Richest Women 2016
- Liliane Bettencourt, 36.1 billion, L’Oreal
- Alice Walton, 32.3 billion, Wal-Mart
- Jacqueline Mars, 23.4 billion, Mars
- Maria Franca Fissolo, 22.1 billion, Ferrero Group
- Susanne Klatten, 18.5 billon, BMW
- Laurene Powell Jobs, 16.7 billion, Apple
- Abigail Johnson, 13.1 billion, Fidelity
- Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken, 12.3 billion, Heineken
- Iris Fontbona, 10.1 billion, Mining
- Massimiliana Landini Aleotti, 10.1 billion, Pharmaceuticals
China had the most newcomers, adding 70 people to the ranking, more than the 33 first-timers from the U.S. But China also 42 drop-offs, leading in that category as well.
Norwegian heiresses Alexandra Andresen, 19, and her sister, Katharina Andresen, 20, are the world’s youngest billionaires, with an estimated fortune of $1.2 billion.