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Uneasy lies the crown of world's billionaire's list

Wed, Mar 02, 2016, 12:27 PM
Uneasy lies the crown of the billionaires in the world. Only two people in the top 20 managed to hold onto their ranks. Bill Gates remains the richest person in the world with a net worth of $75 billion, despite being $4.2 billion poorer than a year ago. He has been No. 1 for 3 years in a row and topped the list 17 out of 22 years.

Stock markets trick against the losing billionaires in the same way as small investors suffer.

In the 30 years FORBES has tracked global wealth, only 5 people have held the title of the richest person on the planet; three of those 5 still rank among the 4 richest in the world, including Warren Buffett and Carlos Slim.

Also holding steady is Buffett at No. 3. Zara ’s Amancio Ortega moves up to No. 2 for the first time, displacing Mexico’s Carlos Slim, who slips to No. 4. Slim’s fortune fell $27.1 billion to $50 billion in the past year, as shares of his telecom business América Móvil tumbled.

Facebook FB Mark Zuckerberg had the best year of all billionaires. The 31-year-old added $11.2 billion to his fortune and moved up to No. 6 from 16. He and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos both make their first appearance in the top ten of FORBES’ annual ranking of the world’s wealthiest.

Another first: A billionaire from China’s mainland, Wang Jianlin, whose company owns AMC Theaters and soon will own Legendary Pictures, has climbed into the top 20.

Among the most notable newcomers are Cameron Mackintosh, the first theater producer to make the billionaire ranks; WeWork’s Adam Neumann and Miguel McKelvey and Pinterest’s Ben Silbermann and Evan Sharp. Neumann, Silbermann and Sharp are 3 of a record 66 billionaires under the age of 40.

The youngest billionaire in the world is a 19-year-old Norwegain heiress, Alexandra Andresen, who has a 42% stake in her family’s business. Her sister Katharina is second youngest, just 20.

Another new entrant worth mentioning is Zhou Qunfei, whose $5.9 billion fortune from smartphone screens is enough to make her the richest self-made woman in the world. She is one of 190 women in the list, down from 197 last year.

Among the notable drop-offs are fashion designer Tory Burch, Sam Adams chief Jim Koch and Dick’s Sporting Goods head Edward Stack.

The U.S. has 540 billionaires, more than any other country in the world. It’s followed by mainland China with 251 (Hong Kong has another 69) and Germany with 120. Russia has 77, ten-figure fortunes, 11 fewer than last year, while Brazil is down 23 from 31.
Agency: Ap7am Desk
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