Gates still richest, but new tech wealth makes gains on Forbes list

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates leads Forbes magazine's 2016 list of the richest of the rich, but two other tech-billionaires are marching up the annual ranking released Tuesday by the publication.

Gates, 60, has a fortune estimated at 75 billion dollars, which is 4.2 billion less than last year, when he was also the richest person in the world. The former Microsoft chief executive has topped the list in 17 of the last 22 years.

In second place is Amancio Ortega, 79, of Spain whose riches were made in the fashion industry. As head of a clothing empire best known for its Zara chain retailer, Ortega has 67 billion dollars, 2.5 billion more than the year before when he was ranked fourth.

The third spot is held again this year by US star investor Warren Buffett, 85, with 60.8 billion dollars. Fourth is Mexican telecommunications tycoon Carlos Slim Helu, 76, with 50 billion dollars. Both men's fortunes shrank compared with the previous year's ranking, with Slim's seeing a decline of 27.1 billion dollars, the most of any on the list of billionaires.

Taking the biggest strides up the ranking were Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, 31, and Amazon.com chief executive Jeff Bezos, 52, both of whom appeared in the top 10 for the first time. Bezos landed in fifth place with a net worth of 45.2 billion dollars and a leap from 15th place last year.

Zuckerberg has amassed a fortune of 44.6 billion dollars, according to the magazine. That's up from 11.2 last year and moved him from 16th to sixth place in the ranking.

The number of billionaires in the world is 1,810, according to Forbes. That's down from 1,826 in 2015. Added together the total net worth for this year's billionaires was 6.48 trillion dollars, down from 7.05 trillion last year. Volatility in global markets had a significant effect on this year’s list, the magazine said.

The list has 198 newcomers, including 70 from China, the country with the most newcomers.

The total number of women on the list is 190, down from 197 in 2015. The richest is Liliane Bettencourt of France ranked 11 with a net worth of 36.1 billion dollars earned in the makeup business through the label L'Oréal.

Thirty-three women on the list are self-made billionaires; the richest is Hong Kong newcomer Zhou Qunfei, whose Lens Technology went public in 2015.

Among the notable newcomers are Alexandra Andresen, 19, and her sister, Katharina Andresen, 20, from Norway, who are the world’s youngest billionaires thanks to stakes in their father's tobacco empire.

The United States led with the greatest number of billionaires, 540, followed by China with 251, Germany with 120, India with 84 and Russia with 77.

Forbes publishes the list annually in its print edition, but keeps a real-time ranking at its website. It compiles its estimates by tracking stock and real estate holdings and luxury items such as artwork and yachts.

The ranking is based mostly on data gleaned from publicly released information and therefore does not claim to be exact.

Last update: Tue, 28/06/2016 - 17:25
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