Warren Buffett ousts Gates as world's richest amid global challenge

Legendary investor Warren Buffett has knocked Microsoft founder Bill Gates off the top of the list of the world's richest people compiled annually by Forbes magazine. ( dpa )

But other countries are ousting US magnates from top positions, led by India which has four billionaires in the top 10, according to the list released Wednesday night.

Buffet, the chairman of holding company Berkshire Hathaway, is worth an estimated 62 billion dollars. His net worth increased by 10 billion dollars as shares of his conglomerate soared over the year.

Gates meanwhile saw the value of his fortune drop by 2 billion dollars to 58 billion dollars. He was pushed down to the third spot by Mexican telecom king Carlos Slim, whose 60-billion-dollar fortune was an 11-billion-dollar rise on his worth last year.

Slim was far from the only non-American at the top of the list. India was led by steel magnate Lakshi Mittal in fourth spot with 45 billion dollars, while the Ambani brothers Mukesh and Anil followed with fortunes of 43 and 42 billion dollars respectively.

IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad was in seventh place with 31 billion dollars ahead of yet another Indian, KP Singh, with 30 billion dollars. In ninth place was Russian aluminium king Oleg Deripaska at 28 billion dollars while German grocery czar Karl Albrecht rounded out the top 10 with a fortune of 27 billion dollars.

Other well known names in the top 20 were Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka- Shing, and L'Oreal owner Lillane Bettencourt, who is the world's richest woman. Her 22.9 billion dollars was enough for 17th spot, below Roman Abramovich and Larry Ellison, but still above Saudi investment magnate Prince Alwaleed.

Reflecting the dollar's fall on world markets and the increased rise of global billionaires, Americans had only four spots in the top 20, compared to 10 two years ago.

Forbes said that there were a total of 1,125 billionaires in the world with a total net worth of 4.4 trillion dollars. Two-thirds of the super-rich made their own fortunes rather than inheriting their wealth and 50 of the billionaires are younger than 40.

They included Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page with around 18.7 billion dollars and also, making his first appearance, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, who was ranked 785 on the Forbes list with 1.5 billion dollars.

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