One in every 18 richest people in the Forbes list of world's billionaires witnessed their fortunes increase with New York City's mayor Michael Bloomberg emerging as the biggest gainer.
In the global list of 793 richest people, 44 billionaires added to their net worth. Moreover, there are 38 new billionaires in the list, even as there was steep decline in stocks and real estate prices last year.
"While 83 per cent of the world's 793 billionaires saw their fortunes decline, 44 managed to increase their net worth. . . Mostly by cashing out in the nick of time, making contrarian bets or catering to budget-conscious consumers," the magazine said.
Forbes said that Anil Ambani's fortune dropped by $32 billion as shares in Reliance Communications fell by two-thirds.
The list of world's billionaires released by American magazine Forbes has thrown out some interesting set of facts and figures. Here are some of them:
The collective net worth of the world's richest people stood at $2.4 trillion, a decline of $2 trillion from a year ago.
Bloomberg has emerged as the biggest gainer, adding $4.5 billion to his net worth. The 67-year-old mayor with fortunes to the tune of $16 billion is ranked 17th.
"The year's biggest gainer is New York City's mayor, whose net worth climbed 28 per cent in the past 12 months because of a revaluation of his financial data outfit, Bloomberg LP," the report added.
Meanwhile, the magazine said 38 new billionaires from 11 countries were added to the list. Out of them, only nine inherited all or part of their fortunes.
"It's been a dismal year for the world's wealthiest. Offering a glimmer of hope: 38 new billionaires from 11 countries who were added to the list despite massive declines in stocks, real estate prices and currency devaluations against the US dollar.
"Only nine of the new billionaires inherited all or part of their fortunes. The rest made their own luck in businesses ranging from hospitals to fertiliser to illegal drugs," it said.
On the other hand, American fund manager George Soros has also seen his net worth increase by $2 billion. Ranked 29th, he has a wealth of $11 billion.
The magazine said that Soros steered his $20 billion Quantum Endowment into 'positive territory' last year with bearish bets.
Others who added to their net worth include Japan's Tadashi Yanai and family who added $2.4 billion to their fortunes. With a net worth of $6 billion, they are ranked at the 76th spot.
Forbes noted that among the more notable new billionaires are Mexican Joaquin Guzman Loera, one of the biggest suppliers of cocaine to the US and Wang Chuanfu of China, whose BYD Co began selling electric cars in December.