Richest man in the world - now its Buffett time

After 13 years
on top, Bill Gates is no longer the richest man in the world. That honor now belongs to his friend and sometimes bridge partner Warren Buffett.

Riding the surging price of Berkshire Hathaway stock, Buffett has seen his fortune swell to an estimated $62 billion, up $10 billion from a year ago.

Gates is now worth $58 billion and is ranked third richest in the world. He is up $2 billion from a year ago, but would have been as rich--or richer--than Buffett, had Microsoft not made an unsolicited bid for Yahoo! at the beginning of February. Mexican telecom mogul Carlos Slim HelĂș now ranks as the world's second richest person with a net worth of $60 billion.

US financier Warren Buffett (pic) has overtaken Bill Gates as the world's richest man, according to Forbes , which this year saw Russia, China and India making increasing inroads.

Mexico's telecom mogul Carlos Slim Helu grabbed second place with a tidy nest egg of 60 billion dollars, up from 49 billion last year.

Buffett, who announced in 2006 he was giving the majority of his fortune to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, saw his wealth spike mostly due to the rising value of his Berkshire Hathaway stock.

In total, this year's list sees 1,125 people around the world making the billionaire's list, up from 946 last year. Their total net worth stands at 4.4 trillion dollars, up from 3.5 trillion dollars in 2007.

By nationality, the United States still easily led the rankings with 469 billionaires up from 415 last year, but Russia replaced Germany as the second placed country with 87 billionaires.

Third-placed India saw the number of its super-rich jump to 53 entries on the list - four of them in the top 10 - although China and Hong Kong if taken together would overtake it, with 42 and 26 billionaires respectively.

Japan, although still the second largest economy in the world, saw its number of billionaires trailing at 24 - overtaken by Turkey, which this year saw its number of mega-tycoons on the list jump from 22 in 2007 to 35.

from Forbes


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