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The world's 16 richest people

Last updated on: March 10, 2011 15:41 IST

The world's 16 richest people

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As many as 50 Indians, including Arcelor-Mittal chairman Lakshmi N Mittal, the Ambani brothers, and Azim Premji, figure in the latest Forbes list of world's billionaires.

The world has 1,210 dollar-billionaires, with the United States leading the pack with 413 billionaires.

China has 115 billionaires, while Forbes says that the number of billionaires in Russia has grown to 101. Moscow alone is home to 79 of Russia's billionaires.

The Asia-Pacific region now has 332 billionaires, surpassing Europe's total for the first time.

So who are the world's richest people? Click NEXT to read on . . . 


Image: Total number of billionaires has risen to 1,210
Photographs: Reuters
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1. Carlos Slim: Net Worth $74 billion

The world's richest person for a second year in a row, the Mexican telecom mogul is also the year's biggest gainer, having added $20.5 billion to his fortune and widened the gap between him and No. 2, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, to $18 billion.

Slim's net worth gained the most of any billionaire compared with 2010. Slim's America Movil SAB is the biggest mobile-phone company in the Americas, with 225 million wireless subscribers.

His holdings in Mexico extend from retail, with the Sanborns department store chain, to banking and construction. He has other holdings in Saks and the New York Times.

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Image: Carlos Slim is a Mexican telecom mogul
Photographs: Reuters
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2. Bill Gates: Net worth $56 billion

The co-founder of the world's largest software company Microsoft and co-chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is worth $56 billion.

He and his wife, Melinda Gates, co-chair and trustee, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, have for long been working on various philanthropic causes and spent billions of dollars all around the world, including in India.

Gates is not on top of the list because he has donated $30 billion to his charity organisation.

Gates has also convinced nearly 60 of the world's wealthiest to sign his 'Giving Pledge', promising to donate the majority of their wealth to charity either during their lifetime or after death.

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Image: Bill Gates has given away $30 bn to his foundation
Photographs: Reuters
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3. Warren Buffett: Net worth $50 billion

Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway is worth $50 billion. He had already pledged to give 99 per cent of his wealth away!

Well known for his wise investment decisions, the 79-year-old Buffett is the chairman of conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway that has invested in diverse companies.

"More than 99 per cent of my wealth will go to philanthropy during my lifetime or at death. Measured by dollars, this commitment is large. In a comparative sense, though, many individuals give more to others every day," said the billionaire investor.

In 2006, Buffett had pledged to give all the stocks he owns in Berkshire Hathaway to philanthropic foundations. Buffett said he has already distributed about 20 per cent of his Berkshire shares and would continue to 'annually distribute about 4 per cent the shares I retain.

Buffett said the pledge to donate wealth would not affect his and his children's lives. "They (children) have already received significant sums for their personal use and will receive more in the future. . . I will continue to live in a manner that gives me everything that I could possibly want in life," he wrote in the letter.

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Image: Warren Buffett has pledged to give away 99 per cent of his wealth
Photographs: Reuters
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4. Bernard Arnault: Net worth $41 billion

Bernard Arnault, the richest European, is the founder and chairman of luxury goods outfit, LVMH. His wealth increased by $13.5 billion as shares of his company rose by more than half over the past year.

LVMH bought 20 per cent of Hermes last year; Arnault insists he is a friendly shareholder but Hermes sees it as hostile.

He has turned the company into one of the largest luxury groups in the world.

Arnault has been married twice, and is the father of five children. His daughter Delphine Arnault is actively involved in the management of LVMH. His second wife, Helene Mercier, is a pianist from Quebec.

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Arnault has been married twice, and is the father of five children

Image: Bernard Arnault is chairman of LVMH
Photographs: Reuters
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5. Larry Ellison: Net worth $39.5 billion

Larry Ellision, Oracle chief, sits atop a fortune that is $11.5 billion bigger than last year thanks to a 30 per cent jump in the software company's shares.

Since 2004, Ellison has set out to increase Oracle's share through several acquisitions. The company invested spent $25 billion in just three years to acquire several companies and large and small software manufacturers.

He intends to give 95 per cent of wealth to charity.

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Image: Larry Ellison is Oracle chief
Photographs: Reuters
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6. Lakshmi Mittal: Net worth $31.1 billion

Net profits at L N Mittal's ArcelorMittal are up 18-fold to $2.9 billion in 2010 due to recovery in steel demand and higher margins.

Mittal's rise sometimes obscures the fact that he has been one of the most enterprising figures of 'our age', and no episode perhaps better reflected this than his takeover of European steel giant Arcelor.

Mittal is the chairman and CEO of ArcelorMittal, the world's biggest steel maker, while his son Aditya is the chief financial officer. Mittal's daughter Vanisha, who attracted much publicity when her father organised an extravagant wedding costing 10-20 million pounds for her in France in 2004, is also on the board, it said.

Daughter-in-law Megha owns German fashion house Escada.

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Image: ArcelorMittal is world's largest steel-maker
Photographs: Reuters
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7. Amancio Ortega: Net worth $31 billion

Amancio Ortega is a Spanish fashion entrepreneur ranked as the 7th richest man in the world with $31 billion worth of wealth.

With his ex-wife Rosal a Mera, he founded the Inditex Group. He is the group's chairman at present. Ortega arrived at A Coruna, Spain, at the age of 14. His father was a railway worker.

Starting as a gofer in various shirt stores in A Coruna, Galicia, he founded Confecciones Goa, which made bathrobes.

In 1975, he opened a store called Zara, which later grew to enormous scale as one of the most well known fashion chains of the world. Gaona keeps a very low profile and is known to have never given an interview to the media.

His secrecy is intriguing and it has led to the publication of a book Amancio Ortega: De Cero A Zara (From Zero to Zara).

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Image: Amancio Ortega is a railway worker's son
Photographs: Reuters
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8. Eike Batista: Net worth $30 billion

Eike Batista, a Brazilian mining and oil tycoon, is at number 8 with $30 billion. He is a college dropout and reportedly had troubles paying his bills.

He loves speedboats, was married to a Playboy cover girl and keeps a Mercedez-Benz in his living room. Through his holding company, EBX, Batista controls businesses spanning mining, shipbuilding, energy, logistics, tourism and entertainment.

He has told Carlos Slim that he wants to be the world's richest man.

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Image: Batista says soon he will be the richest man
Photographs: Reuters
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9. Mukesh Ambani: Net worth $27 billion

Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani is the ninth richest man in the world with $27 billion in net worth.

Chief of oil and gas conglomerate Reliance Industries, India's most valuable company, recently signed a deal with BP, selling 30 per cent stake in 23 oil blocks in India for $7.2 billion and forming a marketing joint venture.

The deal is said to be one of biggest foreign investments in India.

He and wife Nita own a $2-billion 27-storey mansion in Mumbai.

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Image: Reliance Industries is India's most valuable company
Photographs: Reuters
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10. Christy Walton and family: Net worth $26.5 billion

Christy Walton, the widow of John Walton, inherited her wealth from her husband after he died in an airplane accident in Wyoming 2005.

Her fortune increased because of her late husband's early investments in a solar energy company.

But most of wealth still comes from her holdings in Wal-Mart, the retailer founded by her father-in-law Sam Walton and his brother James in 1962.

Walton, the richest woman in the world, supports museums, education and organic gardening.

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Image: Bulk of Christy Walton's wealth comes from Wal-Mart
Photographs: Reuters
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11. Li Ka-shing: Net worth $26 billion

Li Ka-shing continues to expand his business. In one of his biggest foreign acquisition recently, one of his companies led $9 billion deal for assets that provide power to parts of the United Kingdom, including London.

His Hutchison Whampoa, the world's leading operator of ports handling 14 per cent of global container throughput, bought several port and property assets from China Resources in January.

He calls philanthropy his "third son"; has granted $1.56 billion, mostly to education and health care.

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Image: Li Ka-shing continues to expand his reach
Photographs: Reuters
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11. Karl Albrecht: Net worth $25.5 billion

Karl Albrecht, Germany's richest man, owns discount-supermarket giant Aldi Sud.

Aldi has more than 1,100 stores in the United States across 31 states; plans to open it's first in New York City in 2011.

Albrecht, who has retired from daily operations, is a private person and little is known about him other than that he raises orchids and plays golf.

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Image: Karl Albrecht is fiercely private.
Photographs: Reuters
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13. Stefan Persson: Net worth $24.5 billion

Stefan Persson, chairman of Hennes & Mauritz, is known for bringing on big names like Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney to design affordable collections for its 2,200 stores.

A founder of the Mentor Foundation, a non-profit that combats substance abuse among youth. Enjoys downhill skiing, tennis and golf.

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Image: Stefan Persson enjoys downhill skiing
Photographs: Reuters
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14. Vladimir Lisin: Net worth $24 billion

Lisin, owner of Novolipetsk Steel, is Russia's richest person.

He first worked as a mechanic in a coal mine and after college worked as steelworker.

He has constructed one of the largest shooting-range complexes in Europe's Lisya Nora, which is close to Moscow.

He is also the publisher of newspaper Gazeta.

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Image: Lisin's first job was as a mechanic in a coal mine
Photographs: Reuters
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15. Liliane Bettencourt: Net worth $23.5 billion

Bettencourtis is the heir to French cosmetic giant, L'Oreal, founded by her late father.

She and her only daughter fell out over family scandals but have now reconciled.

Her father, L'Oreal founder Eugene Schueller, is allged to have had ties to the Nazi regime.

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Image: Bettencourt is heir to French giant L'Oreal
Photographs: Reuters
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16. Sheldon Adelson: Net worth $23.3 billion

Shares of Sheldon Adelson's Las Vegas Sands have risen over 2,000 per cent since the global credit crisis.

His aim is to get LVS's market cap back to $52 billion and sees Asian casinos as the best bet.

He opened his $5.7 billion Marina Bay Sands in Singapore in April 2010.


Image: Adelson is a taxi driver's son
Photographs: Reuters
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