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Rich, rich and richer

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Rich, rich and richer
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There was a little bit of a shake up at the top in Forbes magazine’s list of the world’s wealthiest individuals this year.

Mexican telecoms king Carlos Slim remained at number one with a fortune calculated as the equivalent of 56 billion euros and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates held on to the number two spot with a net worth of fifty one and a half billion.

But moving up to third position was self-made mogul Amancio Ortega, co-founder of the Inditex fashion group and Spain’s richest man, who is said to be worth 44 billion euros.

Ortega leapt over Warren Buffett, the chairman and chief executive of conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway – worth 41 billion – and France’s Bernard Arnault of the LVMH luxury goods group, who dropped to 10th place, with a mere 22.3 billion.

Oracle’s Larry Ellison, with a calculated fortune of 33 billion euros, rounded out the top five.

This year’s ranking included a record 1,426 billionaires, with an average net worth of 2.9 billion euros.

Rising stock markets fuelled in part by monetary stimulus by the US Federal Reserve, and robust consumer brands fortified the fortunes of those already on the list and drove many of the 210 new billionaires onto it.

Where they are

The United States led the list with 442 billionaires, followed by 386 from Asia and the Pacific region, with 122 in China alone.

Europe was close behind with 366, including 110 in Russia. The Americas, not including the United States, had 129 and the Middle East and Africa 103.

Forbes magazine editor Randall Lane made a geographical prediction: “There will be more Asian billionaires than American billionaires by the end of this decade, actually by the middle of this decade. That is a statement about where global growth is.”