The world is changing as wealth shifts from the west to emerging economies.
A Mexican tops this year’s Forbes Rich list, China has more billionaires than any other country apart from the US and Pakistan added its first official billionaire.
A Mexican billionaire has today been named the world’s richest person – knocking Bill Gates off the top spot for only the second time in 15 years.
With a net worth of £35.7billion, Telecoms tycoon Carlos Slim Helu beat the Microsoft boss (£35.4billion) as well as investor Warren Buffett (£31.4billion) on the Forbes’ list of 10-figure titans.
It is the first time the title has been held by a non-American for 16 years.
In the UK, the Duke of Westminster, Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, was again hailed on the annual list as the wealthiest man, with a fortune of £8billion.
Property tycoons David and Simon Reuben, who are worth £5billion, came second, followed by high street billionaire, Topshop owner Sir Philip Green, who has a net worth of £4.5billion.
All three have increased their wealth despite the recession.
The 24th list of the world’s richest people, published today, reveals the number of billionaires has risen from 793 last year to 1,011. It has yet to reach the 2008 total of 1,125.
According to Forbes, the top 10 wealthiest people are worth a combined £228billion compared to £170billion last year.
‘The global economy is recovering. The financial markets came back, especially emerging markets,’ the magazine’s editor-in-chief Steve Forbes said.
‘There’s a 50 per cent increase in general global wealth compared to last year.’
Gates, 54, was knocked off the top spot – despite increasing his wealth by £8.7billion in the past year as Microsoft shares increased 50 per cent in 12 months – for only the second time since 1995.
In 2008, Buffett – who has seen his fortune jump £6.6billion to £31.4billion in the past year thanks to rising shares of Berkshire Hathaway – was ranked number one.
However, it wasn’t enough to match Slim, 70, who controls a string of companies, including Telmex and America Movil – of which he owns a £15.3billion stake.
The 79-year-old is considered one of the most reliable and successful Wall Street investors.
Despite Gates slipping from the top spot, the U.S. remained by far the dominant home of the super-rich, with 403 billionaires, or 40 per cent of the world’s ten-figure fortunes, down from 45 per cent.
Isaac Perimutter joined the elite club for the first time. T
The Spider-Man mogul netted more than £600million in cash and 20 million shares after flipping Marvel Entertainment to Disney for £2.7billion last year.
The list includes 97 fresh billionaires, 62 of them charging out of Asia, a region that saw booming stock markets and several large public offerings in the past year.
For the first time, China (including Hong Kong) has the most billionaires outside the U.S. with 89.
Russia comes in third with 62 billionaires, many of them commodities kings who fell off the list last year, only to see their vast natural resource holdings regain value this year.
Pakistan added its first billionaire this year – bank chairman Mian Muhammad Mansha – as did Finland with Antti Herlin from engineering company KONE Corporation.
Europe is still the number two super-wealthy region, with 248 billionaires.
The richest European is France’s Bernard Arnault, 61, whose LVMH sells Louis Vuitton, Moet & Chandon, and other luxury goods, with his net worth at £18.3billion.
Just behind Arnault is Spain’s Amancio Ortega, owner of the Zara clothing chain, with £16.6billion.
Sorted by city, billionaires congregate first in New York, where there are 60, then Moscow at 50, and London at 32.
The full list is available at www.forbes.com/billionaires. Source: Daily Mail.