Mexico’s Carlos Slim beat Bill Gates and Warren Buffett for the top spot on Forbes magazine’s annual list of billionaires, becoming the first person from outside the U.S. to lead the rankings in 16 years.
The net worth of Slim, 70, who built a telecommunications empire after buying Mexico’s state-run phone monopoly two decades ago, rose $18.5 billion to $53.5 billion. Gates, 54, chairman of Microsoft Corp., fell to second as his net worth increased $13 billion to $53 billion. Buffett, 79, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., was third with $47 billion, a rise of $10 billion.
Slim is the first person other than Gates, last year’s richest person, or Buffett to top the list since 1994, which was also the last time a billionaire from outside the U.S. led the ranking: Japanese real estate tycoon Yoshiaki Tsutsumi, Bloomberg reports.
Forbes introduced 97 newly minted billionaires, including 62 from Asia, which is just 14 billionaires away from passing Europe.
A total of 30 billionaires dropped off of this year's list, many of them from Russia.
For the first time, mainland China has the most billionaires outside the US with 64, followed by Russia with 62. The US is still far and away the home to the most billionaires: 403 by Forbes' count, New York Post informs.