Billionaires boost wealth to $US 1.9 trillion

NBR staff | Jan 3, 2013

The world’s billionaires added $US241 billion to their collective net worth during 2012, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a daily ranking of the world’s 100 wealthiest individuals.

The index’s aggregate net worth was at $US1.9 trillion at the market close on December 31, with retail and telecommunications fortunes surging about 20% on average during the year.

Of the 100 people who appeared on the final ranking of 2012, only 16 registered a net loss for the 12-month period.

Amancio Ortega, the Spaniard who founded the Zara clothing chain, was the year’s biggest gainer. His fortune increased $US22.2 billion to $US57.5 billion, according to the index, as shares of his company Inditex rose 66.7%.

Billionaires Worth $1.9 Trillion Seek Advantage in 2013

Carlos Slim, the telecommunications magnate who controls Mexico’s America Movil, maintained his title as the world’s richest person for the entire year. His net worth rose $US13.4 billion – or 21.6% – through December 31, making him the second-biggest gainer by dollars.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates ranks second on the list, trailing Mr Slim by $US12.5 billion. He added $US7 billion to his net worth.

Warren Buffett, 82, lost his title as the world’s third- richest man to Mr Ortega on August 6 but gained $US5.1 billion during the year, even after donating 22.3 million Berkshire Class B shares in July to charity.

Brazilian commodities trader Eike Batista was the year’s biggest loser by dollars, falling $US10.1 billion and selling a 5.63% stake in his EBX Group in March to Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Development Co.

Oracle founder Larry Ellison, eighth, rose $US6.4 billion in 2012 as the shares jumped 31.7%.

The Bloomberg Billionaires Index measures the world’s wealthiest people based on market and economic changes and Bloomberg News reporting. Each net worth figure is updated every business day at 5:30 p.m. in New York. The valuations are listed in US dollars.

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