Carlos Slim Helu is the wealthiest person on earth, according to the 2010 Forbes list of the World’s Billionaires.
The 70 year old Mexican tycoon who controls Telmex, Telcel and América Móvil companies (Latin America’s biggest mobile phone operator), and has a 6.4% common-stock stake in The New York Times Co., pushed Microsoft founder Bill Gates out of the top spot. Slim rose from third place on the success of his mobile outfit after adding $18.5 billion over the last year to his wealth.
This is the first time since 1994 that the number one position has been held by a non-US citizen.
Forbes estimated Mr. Slim’s net worth — according to some media estimates his wealth accounts for 8% of Mexico’s GDP — at $53.5 billion. Bill Gates slipped to number two with a net worth of $53 billion, marking only the second time he’s been out of the top spot since 1995. Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett came in at number three, with a net worth listed at $47 billion. And India’s oil-and-gas tycoon Mukesh Ambani came in at number four with a net worth of $29 billion.
Forbes said the United States remained by far the dominant home of the super-rich, with 403 billionaires. Europe came in second with 248 billionaires. Meanwhile, Asia added 104 billionaires and is now only 14 shy of Europe.
Forbes said eleven countries have double the number of billionaires they had a year ago. These include India, China, Turkey and South Korea.
The Forbes Magazine list of the top ten wealthiest men, whose combined net worth reached $342 billion dollars, compared to $254 billion in the previous year, included Lakshmi Mittal, Lawrence Ellison, Bernard Arnault Eike Batista, Amancio Ortega and Karl Albrecht.
For more on the list check Forbes Magazine slideshow