THE GLOBAL RANKS of billionaires grew by 199 people in the past year, but none came close to unseating Carlos Slim – the world’s richest man – who added an eye-watering $20.5 billion (€14.8 billion) to his coffers, according to Forbes magazine’s annual tally.
The number of people on Forbes’ list climbed to 1,210 billionaires, setting a record with combined wealth of $4.5 trillion, up from $3.6 trillion a year ago. While the biggest slice of that wealth, $1.5 trillion, is controlled by people in the US, the publication said more than half of the new billionaires came from Brazil, Russia, India and China. In China, there are now 115 billionaires; the richest among them is Robin Li, who is worth $9 billion.
At the top of the list for the second year in a row is Mexican telecom magnate Slim, whose fortune climbed to $74 billion on strength in the Mexican stock market, a stronger peso and successful business spinoffs, Forbes said. The majority of his net worth comes from his holdings in America Movil, Latin America’s largest phone service provider.
Five Irish businessmen made the list: Denis O’Brien (telecom) $4.2 billion; John Dorrance (Campbell Soup) $2.4 billion; Pallonji Mistry (construction) $8.8 billion, Dermot Desomnd (finance) $1.6 billion, and Martin Naughton (heating equipment) $1.9 billion.
Additional reporting by AP