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Anil Ambani lost most, Bloomberg gained most

Source: PTI
March 12, 2009 13:52 IST
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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:

  • $2 trillion (Rs 10,000,000 crore) is the total loss for all the billionaires in the world in a year's time.
  • The world is now left with 793 billionaires, down from 1,125 billionaires a year ago.
  • The number of billionaires in the world has declined for the first time since 2003.
  • The average wealth of billionaires is down to $3 billion, from about $3.9 billion a year ago.
  • Presence of Indians, both resident and non-resident, is down to 25 from 53 last year.
  • The new richest person in the world, Bill Gates, has a net worth of $40 billion, down from Warren Buffett's $62 billion a year ago.
  • The richest Indian in the world, Mukesh Ambani, has a fortune of $19.5 billion, down from last year's topper Lakshmi Mittal's $45 billion.
  • There are four Indians -- Anil Ambani, Lakshmi Mittal, K P Singh and Mukesh Ambani -- in the 10 biggest losers from across the world. These are the same four Indians who figured among the world's 10 richest persons last year.
  • Anil Ambani, the biggest gainer of last year, is now the biggest loser.
  • Michael Bloomberg, the New York City Mayor, is the biggest gainer with his wealth rising by $4.5 billion to $16 billion.
  • There are only 44 billionaires in the world who saw their fortunes soar higher over the past year, while 656 of them took a hit on their net worth.
  • The losers predominantly comprise those making a fortune out of finance or investments, while the gainers are those catering to budget-conscious consumers, predicting the crash or cashing out in the nick
    of time.
  • 38 new members have joined the world billionaire club, while three former billionaires have made a return.
  • Only nine of the new billionaires inherited all or part of their fortunes; rest made it on their own.
  • New York has taken over from Moscow as the billionaire capital of the world, 12 months after it lost the crown to the Russian city. New York is now home to 55 billionaires, down from 71 last year, while Moscow's tally has dropped from 74 to 27.
  • Americans now account for 44 per cent of the total billionaire wealth and 45 per cent of their total number.
  • Out of the 50 richest persons in the world, only two reside in India.
  • There are 73 women among the world's billionaires, down from 99 a year ago.

    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.

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