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Mexico’s Slim, world richest billionaire; Spanish fashion chain owner leaps to third place

Tuesday, March 5th 2013 - 00:29 UTC
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Amancio Ortega, owner of Zara fashion chain figures in third place with 57bn dollars Amancio Ortega, owner of Zara fashion chain figures in third place with 57bn dollars

Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim has topped Forbes magazine's list of the world's richest billionaires for a fourth year. The magazine estimates that Mr Slim, whose business interests range from telecommunications to construction, is worth 73bn dollars.

He is followed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates on 67bn. While famed investor Warren Buffett has dropped back to fourth place, with third spot going to Amancio Ortega, the founder of the Spanish Zara fashion chain, with 57bn.

Record profits and a resulting surge in the share price of the holding company Inditex that he owns, has propelled Mr Ortega from fifth place, leapfrogging Mr Buffett.

In contrast, the “Sage of Omaha” admitted last week that his Berkshire Hathaway investment company had a “sub-par” year in 2012, underperforming the S&P 500 index of US share prices for only the ninth time in its 48-year history.

Mr Buffett, 82, was one of seven over-70s in the 10 wealthiest people on the list, with the average age of the top 10 reaching 74 this year.

Besides Mr Ortega, another fast riser has been Larry Ellison, the Oracle tycoon, whose software firm has risen 20% on the stock market over the last year.

There have been mixed fortunes in the French luxuries sector. Bernard Arnault, the man behind Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey, saw his stock fall last year, dragging him down from fourth spot to 10th.

That put him one place behind 90-year-old L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt, whose estimated 30bn fortune has been put under the custody of her daughter after a long legal battle.

The two Koch Brothers, who own a giant US industrial conglomerate and have helped bankroll the radical right-wing Tea Party movement, came in joint sixth place, with 34bn apiece.

Li Ka-Shing has held onto the eighth position and remains the highest-placed Asian, with 31bn. The Hong Kong-based owner of Hutchison Whampoa and Cheung Kong Holdings is the world's biggest operator of container terminals.

Categories: Economy, Politics, International.

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  • Ayayay

    They like their really rich and really poor- it's AlMoSt like Saudi Sheiks..

    Mar 05th, 2013 - 01:45 am 0
  • Fbear

    With an unemployment in Spain of well over a quarter of workers, I am not so sure Mr. Ortega should take pride in being the world's third richest man. To get there, he certainly must have been responsble for some part of that high rate among jobless. Too much pride in this “Frankenstein” of finance might well bring out the mobs with the pitchforks. The others on the list might also do well to watch their backs, of economies continue to deteriorate around the world.

    Mar 05th, 2013 - 01:30 pm 0
  • Vuggevise

    Gotta love the irony of a corpulent bastard being called Slim. Mind you, I don't suppose Carlos QuadChops has the same ring :)

    And as the owner of a fashion chain, you'd think Amancio Ortega would dress with a little more style, and a little less like an old man trying to look like a Argentinian gigolo.

    Mar 06th, 2013 - 08:52 am 0
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