Monday, April 09, 2007

World's Billionaires

It has been a busy year for Forbes' team of fortune hunters. Strong equity markets combined with rising real estate values and commodity prices pushed up fortunes from Mumbai to Madrid. Forbes pinned down a record 946 billionaires. There were 178 newcomers, including 19 Russians, 14 Indians, 13 Chinese and 10 Spaniards, as well as the first billionaires from Cyprus, Oman, Romania and Serbia.

Ingenuity, not industry, is the common characteristic; these folks made money in everything from media and real estate to coffee, dumplings and ethanol. Two-thirds of last year's billionaires are richer. Only 17% are poorer, including 32 who fell below the billion-dollar mark. The billionaires' combined net worth climbed by $900 billion to $3.5 trillion. That equates to $3.6 billion apiece.(courtesy of forbes magazine)

The richest new billionaire was American pipeline tycoon Dan Duncan, worth $5.1 billion. But the biggest commodity benefactor was India's Lakshmi Mittal, the steel titan whose net worth rose $18.8 billion in the past 12 months.

Not every billionaire has benefited from the rising tide. In Russia, all the partners involved with troubled oil company Yukos saw their fortunes plunge. Mikhail Khodorkovsky's net worth fell $12.8 billion this year. His five partners all dropped off the list.


  1. William Gates III
  2. Warren Buffett
  3. Carlos Slim HelĂș
  4. Ingvar Kamprad
  5. Lakshmi Mittal
  6. Sheldon Adelson
  7. Bernard Arnault
  8. Amancio Ortega
  9. Li Ka-shing
  10. David Thomson
  11. Larry Ellison
  12. Liliane Bettencourt
  13. Prince Alwaleed
  14. Mukesh Ambani
  15. Karl Albrecht
  16. Roman Abramovich
  17. Stefan Persson
  18. Anil Ambani
  19. Paul Allen


KA said...

Prince Al Waleed has enough money to finance some sort of reform campaign in the middle east, or at least to start some sort of a political movement for liberalizing the region. His money could be better spent, in my opinion, than buying individual four seasons' hotels and running them independently.

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