Slim still richest as Ortega passes Buffett to No. 3: Forbes
By Patricia Reaney ,ReutersNEW YORK -- Spain's Amancio Ortega, the co-founder of the Inditex fashion group, leapt over Warren Buffett and France's Bernard Arnault to become the world's third richest person on Forbes' 2013 annual ranking of billionaires, with an estimated net worth of US$57 billion.
March 5, 2013, 12:35 am TWN
Mexico's Carlos Slim, who has taken a hit from the slump in the share price of his America Movil telecoms group since the list was calculated as of Feb. 14, remained the richest person with a fortune of US$73 billion, and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates held on to the No. 2 spot with a net worth of US$67 billion.
Ortega's fortune increased US$19.5 billion, the biggest gain for any of the billionaires, from the report in 2012. He jumped two places and bumped Buffett, chairman and chief executive of conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway Inc with a fortune of US$53.5 billion, out of the top three to the No. 4 spot for the first time since 2000.
“Warren had a great year, it's just that Amancio Ortega had a better year,” Forbes magazine editor Randall Lane said of the co-founder of Zara. “He has one of the dominant apparel lines in Europe.”
Arnault, of the LVMH luxury goods group, dropped to 10th place with US$29 billion.
Slim, 73, made much of his fortune in telecommunications but also branched out into retail, commodities, finance and energy.
“To see Carlos Slim again broaden his lead and certify himself as the richest man in the world is a statement that wealth truly is global and not an American monopoly like it sometimes felt for many decades,” Lane added in an interview.
Rising stock markets fueled in part by monetary stimulus by the U.S. 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.
Oracle Corp.'s Larry Ellison, with a fortune of US$43 billion, rounded out the top five in the ranking that included a record 1,426 billionaires, with an average net worth of US$3.8 billion.
Forbes' 27th annual ranking is the biggest ever and has the largest jump in total number of people added in one year.
“It is a very good year to be a billionaire, and a much easier year to be a billionaire. You have those economic forces and global markets going up and that is pushing more people over the threshold,” Lane explained.