Gates Tops $50 Billion in Forbes Ranking
Microsoft mogul Bill Gates has cracked the $50-billion barrier, making him once again the richest person in the world and, for the first time, richer than any royalty or head of state, according to Forbes magazine’s ranking of the world’s billionaires.
If royalty were included among the top billionaires, the sultan of Brunei would have ranked third at $36 billion. The oil-rich sultan was richer than Gates until this year.
As of last summer, Gates had doubled his net worth, in 12 months, to $36.4 billion, based on the appreciation of Microsoft stock. He added $15 billion in the latest 12 months for a total worth of $51 billion.
No. 2 on the list is the Walton family, heirs of Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. The family’s net worth is about $48 billion.
Forbes tightened the criteria for its rankings this year by including only the “working rich.” Listed are individuals or small family groups who are billionaires and have either built their own fortune or are working with their inheritance. The magazine made an effort to drop the silver-spoon set that is primarily living off its wealth, Forbes said in its July 6 issue, which was released Sunday.
The new criteria left several billionaires off the list, including the $15.3-billion Quandt family of Germany, the majority shareholder of BMW who ranked No. 10 last year; L’Oreal’s founding Bettencourt family of France, worth $11.4 billion; and sisters Barbara Cox Anthony and Anne Cox Chambers, the $7.1-billion heirs of the U.S. media company Cox Enterprises. Royalty and heads of state had already been excluded in recent lists.
One notable new member of this year’s list was the family of former Indonesian President Suharto, whose 32 years in power enabled him to amass stakes in about 3,200 Indonesian companies and a family fortune of about $4 billion, Forbes said.
Suharto became eligible after quitting under pressure last month amid the economic crisis in Indonesia. Asia’s financial retreat reduced its representation among the top 200 billionaires to 44 from 56 last year. American billionaires on the list rose to 70 from 60, while Europeans accounted for 52, up from 44.
The Asian economic crisis and recession in Japan reduced the holdings of transportation mogul Yoshiaki Tsutsumi, once the world’s richest businessman, to $5.7 billion.
The average net worth of the top 200 billionaires was $4.7 billion, up from $3.9 billion in 1997.
In a separate ranking, Forbes estimated the net worth of the world’s “kings, queens and dictators.”
Topping the list is the sultan of Brunei ($36 billion; oil, gas), followed by Saudi Arabia’s King Fahd ($25 billion; oil, investments, property), Iraq’s President Saddam Hussein ($5 billion; oil and “son Uday controls smuggling”), Syria’s President Hafez al-Assad ($2 billion; oil, agriculture), Queen Elizabeth II ($420 million; investments, property, or $16 billion, if including the value of the royal collection, with the crown jewels held by the queen in trust for the nation), and Cuban President Fidel Castro ($100 million; tourism, nickel mining, sugar).
Ranking of the world’s richest people as estimated by Forbes magazine, excluding dictators and royalty. Listed is name, country, net worth in millions and primary source of wealth.
1. Gates, William H. III, U.S., 51,000, Microsoft Corp.
2. Walton family, U.S., 48,000, Wal-Mart Stores
3. Buffett, Warren Edward, U.S., 33,000, Berkshire Hathaway
4. Allen, Paul Gardner, U.S., 21,000, Microsoft Corp.
5. Thomson, Kenneth, Canada, 14,400, Thomson Corp.
6 (tie). Mars, Forrest Edward Sr. and family, U.S., 13,500, inheritance (candy)
6 (tie). Pritzker, Jay A. and Robert A., U.S., 13,500, financier.
8. Alsaud, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, Saudi Arabia, 13,300, investments, construction, banking
9. Lee Shau Kee, Hong Kong, 12,700, real estate
10. Albrecht, Theo, Karl and family, Germany, 11,700, retailing
11. Ballmer, Steven Anthony, U.S., 10,700, Microsoft Corp.
12. Mulliez, Gerard and family, France, 10,300, retail
13 (tie). Dell, Michael, U.S., 10,000, Dell Computer Corp.
13 (tie). Li Ka-shing, Hong Kong, 10,000, real estate, telecom, diversified
15. Botin, Emilio and family, Spain, 9,200, banking
16. Newhouse, Samuel I. Jr. and Donald E., U.S., 9,000, Media
17 (tie). Anschutz, Philip F., U.S., 8,800, oil, railroads
17 (tie). Cargill family, U.S., 8,800, Cargill Corp.
19. Tsai Wan-lin and family, Taiwan, 8,500, insurance, financial services
20. Haas family, U.S., 8,200, Levi Strauss & Co.
21. Fisher family, U.S., 8,000, Gap Inc.
22. Hopp, Dietmar and sons, Germany, 7,900, software
23. Kluge, John Werner, U.S., 7,800, Metromedia Co.
24. Moore, Gordon Earl, U.S., 7,500, Intel Corp.
25. Kwok, Walter, Thomas and Raymond, Hong Kong, 7,400, real estate
26. Slim Helu, Carlos, Mexico, 7,200, diversified
27 (tie). Berlusconi, Silvio, Italy, 7,000, media
27 (tie). Olayan, Suliman, Saudi Arabia, 7,000, Olayan Investment Co.
29. Plattner, Hasso, Germany, 6,900, SAP
30 (tie). Bass, Lee, Sid and Perry, U.S., 6,600, oil, investments
30 (tie). Perelman, Ronald Owen, U.S., 6,600, investments
30 (tie). Pinault, Francois, France, 6,600, retail
33. Landolt, Pierre and family, Switzerland, 6,500, Novartis
34 (tie). Lauder, Leonard A. and Ronald S., U.S., 6,400, Cosmetics
34 (tie). McCaw family, U.S., 6,400, telecommunications
36. Marinho, Roberto, Brazil, 6,300, media
37 (tie). Cheng Yu-tung, Hong Kong, 6,000, real estate
37 (tie). Wang, Nina, Hong Kong, 6,000, real estate
39 (tie). Ellison, Lawrence Joseph, U.S., 5,800, Oracle Corp.
39 (tie). Redstone, Sumner M., U.S., 5,800, Viacom Inc.
41 (tie). Hearst family, U.S., 5,700, Hearst Corp.
41 (tie). Kerkorian, Kirk, U.S., 5,700, Investments
41 (tie). Tsutsumi, Yoshiaki, Japan, 5,700, real estate
44 (tie). Saji, Keizo, Japan, 5,600, Suntory
44 (tie). Woeste, Albrecht and Henkel family, Germany, 5,600, chemicals
46 (tie). Ermirio de Moraes, Antonio and family, Brazil, 5,500, mining
46 (tie). Haub, Erivan and family, Germany, 5,500, retailing
48 (tie). Koch, Charles de Ganahl and David H., U.S., 5,400, inheritance, oil services
48 (tie). Piech, Ferdinand and family, Germany, 5,400, Porsche
50 (tie). Beisheim, Otto, Germany, 5,300, retailing
50 (tie). Murdoch, Keith Rupert, U.S., 5,300, Publishing
52 (tie). Langmann, Hans Joachim, Germany, 5,200, chemicals
52 (tie). Takei, Yasuo, Japan, 5,200, consumer finance
54 (tie). Johnson, Edward C. and Abigail, U.S., 5,100, Fidelity Investments
54 (tie). Otto, Michael, Germany, 5,100, retailing
56 (tie). Koc, Rahmi and family, Turkey, 5,000, Koc Holding
56 (tie). Ng, Teng Fong and Robert, Singapore, 5,000, real estate
56 (tie). Rausing, Gad and family, Sweden, 5,000, packaging
56 (tie). Sabanci, Sakip and family, Turkey, 5,000, Haci Omer Sabanci Holding Co.
60 (tie). Tisch, Laurence A. and Preston R., U.S., 4,800, Loews Corp.
60 (tie). Turner, Robert E., U.S., 4,800, Turner Broadcasting
62 (tie). Benetton, Luciano and family, Italy, 4,700, apparel
62 (tie). Knight, Philip H., U.S., 4,700, Nike Inc.
62 (tie). Kuok, Robert, Malaysia, 4,700, diversified
62 (tie). Perez Companc, Gregorio, Argentina, 4,700, conglomerate
66. Johnson, Charles And Rupert, U.S., 4,600, Franklin Resources
67 (tie). Ingram, Martha Robinson Rivers, U.S., 4,500, inheritance
67 (tie). Von Finck, August and Wilhelm, Germany, 4,500, insurance
69 (tie). Al-Kharafi, Nasser, Kuwait, 4,400, M.A. Al Kharafi & Sons
69 (tie). Persson, Stefan, Sweden, 4,400, retailing
71 (tie). Arison, Micky, U.S., 4,300, Carnival Cruise Lines
71 (tie). Waitt, Theodore W., U.S., 4,300, Gateway
73. Schmidheiny, Stephan, Switzerland, 4,100, ABB
74 (tie). Arison, Theodore, Israel, 4,000, Norweigan Caribbean Cruise Line
74 (tie). Bertarelli, Ernesto, Switzerland, 4,000, Ares-Serono
74 (tie). Del Vecchio, Leonardo, Italy, 4,000, eyewear
74 (tie). Irving, James, Arthur and John, Canada, 4,000, diversified, including Irving Oil
74 (tie). Schoerghuber, Stefan, Germany, 4,000, services, breweries, construction, real estate
74 (tie). Suharto family, Indonesia, 4,000, investments
74 (tie). Widjaja, Eka Tjipta, Indonesia, 4,000, pulp and paper, food
81. Wang, Y.C., Taiwan, 3,900, Formosa Plastics
82. Brenninkmeyer family, Netherlands, 3,800, retailing
83 (tie). Herz, Gnnter and family, Germany, 3,700, consumer products
83 (tie). Ito, Masatoshi, Japan, 3,700, retail
85 (tie). Arnault, Bernard, France, 3,600, luxury goods
85 (tie). Kinoshita, Kyosuke, Japan, 3,600, Acom
85 (tie). Soros, George, U.S., 3,600, money management
85 (tie). Ziff, Dirk, Robert and Daniel, U.S., 3,600, Ziff-Davis Publishing
89 (tie). Al Rajhi, Abdullah Sulaiman, Saudi Arabia, 3,500, banking
89 (tie). Azcarraga Jean, Emilio and family, Mexico, 3,500, media
89 (tie). Mittal, Lakshmi, India, 3,500, steel
92 (tie). Bronfman, Edgar M. Sr., U.S., 3,400, Seagram Co.
92 (tie). Khoo Teck Puat, Singapore, 3,400, investments
94 (tie). Bronfman, Charles R., Canada, 3,300, Seagram Co.
94 (tie). Mori, Minoru and Akira, Japan, 3,300, real estate
94 (tie). Perot, Henry Ross, U.S., 3,300, electronic data management
94 (tie). Safra, Edmond, Lebanon, 3,300, Republic Bank
98 (tie). Packer, Kerry, Australia, 3,200, Publishing & Broadcasting
98 (tie). Rocca, Roberto and family, Argentina, 3,200, diversified
98 (tie). Salinas Pliego, Ricardo and family, Mexico, 3,200, media, retailing