Bill Gates reclaims top of Forbes billionaire list from SlimTuesday 04 March 2014 07.41
Bill Gates has returned to the top of Forbes magazine's annual list of the world's richest people, as rising stock markets swelled the ranks of billionaires, which included a record number of women.
With a net worth of $76 billion, the Microsoft co-founder reclaimed the top spot after a four year hiatus.
He toppled Mexico's telecommunications mogul Carlos Slim Helu, who placed second at $72 billion, Forbes said last night.
Amancio Ortega, the Spanish founder of clothing conglomerate Inditex SA, which includes the Zara fashion chain, ranked third at $64 billion.
Investing icon Warren Buffett, who runs Berkshire Hathaway, was fourth at $58.2 billion.
Oracle Corp chief Larry Ellison came in fifth at $48 billion.
Gates has topped the list in 15 of the last 20 years.
A record 1,645 billionaires with a total net worth of $6.4 trillion made Forbes' list, up from 1,426 last year.
Just over 10% were female, with 172 women compared with 138 a year earlier.
Wal-Mart Stores heiress Christy Walton was the highest-ranking woman, in ninth place, at $36.7 billion.
France's Liliane Bettencourt, who got much of her wealth from cosmetics company L'Oreal, was next among women at $34.5 billion, and ranked 11th overall.
The Internet was well-represented. Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin ranked 17th and 19th, worth a respective $32.3 billion and $31.8 billion, while Amazon.com's Jeff Bezos was between them at $32 billion.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, 29, more than doubled his net worth to $28.5 billion, and ranked 21st.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who left office two months ago, was 16th at $33 billion, built mainly through his media company.
Forbes said the year's biggest loser was Brazilian tycoon Eike Batista, whose net worth fell below $300m from $10.6 billion as his oil and natural resources empire collapsed amid too much debt and falling output.
Roughly two-thirds of the world's billionaires, or 1,080, were self-made. The US had the most billionaires, with 492, followed by China at 152 and Russia at 111. Algeria, Lithuania, Tanzania and Uganda joined the list with one each.