Mexican telecoms tycoon Carlos Slim, founder of the America Movil empire, has edged out Microsoft boss Bill Gates as Forbes magazine’s richest person in the world.
Slim has a net worth of $53.5 billion, a more half a billion more than Gates’ estimated $53 billion fortune on the latest Forbes rich list.
Indian entrepreneur Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries stole fourth place, with a net worth of $29 billion from his telecoms, textile and petrol investments.
In fact, the number of billionaires from Asia and Australasia grew from 130 to 234 on this year’s list. Their total net worth increased from $357 billion to $729 billion as the financial crisis trimmed billions of the portfolios of high net worth Americans.
The fortunes of Robin Li, founder of Chinese internet search engine Baidu, have been bolstered in the aftermath of Google’s censorship woes with the mainland government.
Forbes puts Li’s net worth at $3.5 billion.