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Bill Gates back on top of Forbes' ranking of the world's richest

NEW YORK--Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is back on top of the list of the world's richest people after a four-year hiatus.

Forbes magazine announced its ranking of the world's billionaires Monday.

Gates, who led the list for 15 of the past 20 years, won the spot back from Mexican telecom mogul Carlos Slim Helu, who had topped the list for the past four years. Gates' net worth is estimated at US$76 billion; Helu follows at US$72 billion.

Spanish clothing magnate Amancio Ortega, known for the Zara retail chain, maintained his third-ranked spot and came out ahead of famed U.S. investor Warren Buffett, who ranked fourth. Larry Ellison of Oracle came in fifth.

Forbes says a record 1,645 billionaires made the list this year, with an average net worth of US$4.7 billion.

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