March 5, 2013 in Business

Forbes’ list of billionaires increases to 1,426

Mexico’s Slim still world’s richest; Warren Buffett drops to No. 4
Shan Li Los Angeles Times

(Full-size photo)

The list of the world’s ultimate 1 percent has grown: Forbes magazine said its tally of billionaires around the globe climbed 16 percent from last year.

Topping the list is Carlos Slim, a telecommunications mogul from Mexico with a reported net worth of $73 billion. Microsoft Corp.’s Bill Gates came in second place, again, with a net worth of $67 billion.

Other notables saw their places drop as their bank accounts were squeezed in the last year. Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg fell 31 spots as his net worth dropped by $4.2 billion. Warren Buffett, known as the Oracle of Omaha, dropped to the No. 4 slot after more than a decade in the top 3; his spot was taken over by Amancio Ortega, a Spaniard who holds a huge stake in the retail conglomerate that owns fashion brand Zara.

Some of the billionaires can add “jailbird” to their resume. Real estate mogul Zhang Keqiang of China, at the very bottom of the list with a net worth of $1 billion, spent 2 years in jail on charges of defrauding the state and is still awaiting trial.

All told, 1,426 uberwealthy individuals made Forbes’ 2013 list, a record-setting number. And their bank accounts fattened too – average net worth jumped to $3.8 billion, a 3 percent increase from the year before.

Liliane Bettencourt, whose family owns more than 30 percent of cosmetics giant L’Oreal, is the world’s wealthiest woman at $30 billion. The total number of women grew to 138, up from 104 the year before.

More than 30 percent of the billionaires, or 442 to be exact, call the United States home, the most of any nation in the world. Other clusters of this exclusive club live in Asia and Europe.

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