Mexico’s Carlos Slim tops Forbes’ richest list

March 8th, 2012 - 9:24 pm ICT by BNO News  

NEW YORK (BNO NEWS) — Mexico’s telecommunication tycoon Carlos Slim Helu is the world’s richest person for the third consecutive year, according to the 2012 billionaire list released by Forbes magazine on Wednesday.

Despite a $5 billion decrease in his fortune, 72-year-old Slim Helu, of Mexico City, was listed as the world’s richest person with a net worth of $69 billion as of March, ahead of Bill Gates’ $61 billion and Warren Buffet’s $44 billion.

With more than half of his net worth linked to telecom enterprise America Movil, Slim Helu’s $5 billion decrease is primarily due to a lower share price for the company. In addition, he has been spending more time working with his Carlos Slim Foundation as well as the Telmex Foundation.

Gates, 56, of Medina, Washington, is mostly known as the co-founder of software company Microsoft. However, in recent years, along with his wife Melinda and through their foundation, he has dedicated most of his time to philanthropic activities. In total, he has donated approximately $28 billion.

Among many causes, Gates has helped eradicate polio in India, while he has been donating $200 million a year to fight endemic diseases in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria. The Harvard dropout continues to have around one fourth of his fortune in Microsoft.

Buffet, 81, of Omaha, Nebraska, meanwhile, has seen his fortune decrease by $6 billion during the past year as his textile firm Berkshire Hathaway’s stock slumped by 7 percent. Nonetheless, he has also been highly active in philanthropy, primarily through the Gates Foundation.

Bernard Arnault, 63, of Paris, and Europe’s richest man, was listed fourth on the billionaire list, thanks to his luxury-goods empire LVMH. He also owns supermarket chain Carrefour and Indigo Island in the Bahamas.

Arnault is followed by Spain’s Amancio Ortega with $37.5 billion, Larry Ellison’s (Oracle) $36 billion, and Brazilian mining and oil tycoon Eike Batista with $30 billion, and Sweden’s Stefan Persson (H&M) with $26 billion, respectively. Asia’s richest man, Li Ka-shing, of Hong Kong, was listed at number nine with $25.5 billion, and Karl Albercht of Germany closed the top ten list with his $25.4 billion.

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