MICROSOFT co-founder Bill Gates once again topped the Forbes magazine list of the world’s richest billionaires, while US President Donald Trump slipped more than 200 spots, the magazine said yesterday.
Gates, whose wealth is estimated at US$86 billion, led the list for the fourth straight year.
He was followed by Berkshire Hathaway chief Warren Buffett among the top 10 billionaires, a group heavily dominated by Americans, many of whom work in the technology sector. Buffett’s wealth was estimated at US$75.6 billion.
Others in the top 10 included Amazon founder Jeff Bezos at number three, Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg at number five and Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison at number seven.
The global billionaire population jumped 13 percent from last year to 2,043, the biggest annual increase in the 31 years since the magazine began compiling the list, Forbes said.
The US led countries with the most billionaires with 565, a product of the swelling value of the American stock market since Trump’s November 2016 election.
China was second with 319 billionaires, and Germany was third with 114.
Trump himself slipped 220 spots on the list to number 544 with an estimated US$3.5 billion. Forbes blamed Trump’s drop to weaknesss in the Manhattan real estate market which is responsible for a disproportionate amount of his wealth.
“Forty percent of Donald Trump’s fortune is tied up in Trump Tower and eight buildings within one mile of it,” Forbes said. “Lately, the neighborhood has been struggling (relatively speaking).”
Amancio Ortega of Spanish apparel chain Zara was fourth.