Mexican cellphone magnate Carlos Slim has kept his place at the top of the Forbes rich list for the fourth year running, as the ranks of the world's billionaires swelled to 1,426, according to the financial magazine's compilation released Monday.
Slim saw his fortune rise by $4 billion in 2012 to $73 billion, keeping him ahead of Microsoft founder Bill Gates with a nest egg of $67 billion.
Spanish fashion magnate Amancio Ortega, the founder of the Zara chain, climbed to third place after racking up the year's greatest gain of $19.5 billion for a net worth of $57 billion.
Investor Warren Buffett is in fourth spot with $53.5 billion as his fortune grow by $9.5 billion, while Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has held on to fifth with $43 billion in assets.
The richest woman on the list is Liliane Bettencourt, whose L'Oreal-based fortune was estimated at $30 billion. The highest placed Asian is Li Ka-Shing with $31 billion in wealth.
One of the biggest losers on the list is Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, whose fortune dropped by $4.2 billion due to the decline in his company's stock value. But the year's biggest loser was Brazilian Eike Batista, whose fortune dropped by $19.4 billion, or about $50 million a day.
The 1,426 people who made the list include 200 new billionaires. Their total net worth is $5.4 trillion, up 17 percent from last year, with an average net worth of $3.8 billion.
The U.S. leads the list with 442 billionaires, followed by Asia-Pacific (386), Europe (366), the Americas (129) and the Middle East and Africa (103).
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