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Monday, 14 March 2011 10:18

China and Russia Drive Growth in World's Billionaires

By Michelle Nichols

NEW YORK, March 14, 2011 (Reuters) - Rising steel and oil prices in Russia, more honest disclosure in Brazil and booming economies in China and India have fueled a spike in billionaires in the so-called BRIC countries.

 

Moscow is now home to the most billionaires with 79, followed by New York with 58, Forbes said in its annual list of the world's richest people.

 

The world's richest man, Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim, retained his crown for the second year in a row and made more money than any of the other 1,209 billionaires in the past year: $20.5 billion, taking his fortune to $74 billion.

 

The magazine said China nearly doubled its number of billionaires to 115, while Russia and Brazil posted two-thirds jumps to 101 and 30, respectively. It was the first time countries outside the United States produced over 100 billionaires.

 

India added six billionaires, taking its total to 55, "but the average net worth ... is huge -- $4.5 billion for an Indian billionaire versus $2.5 billion for a Chinese billionaire," said Forbes Chief Executive Steve Forbes.

 

Russia's billionaire growth was attributed to a commodities boom. Brazil's increase came from stricter disclosure rules and a stronger currency. In China and India, strong economies helped create billionaires from a range of industries.

 

"The bottom line is BRICs, commodities and Asia Pacific," Forbes told a news conference on Wednesday. "There is a global commodities boom. But as we should have learned ... commodities can go up very sharply, they can go down very sharply."

 

The Reuters Jefferies CRB commodities index rose 17 percent last year and is up another 8 percent this year as copper and gold hit record highs, grains are near their 2008 peaks and, most recently, oil surged beyond $100 a barrel.

 

Brazil, Russia, India and China produced half the world's 214 new billionaires, double last year's 97 newcomers. The Asia Pacific was home to 105 newcomers, three-quarters of whom earned their fortunes from stakes in public companies.

 

Around the world, the top industries for producing new billionaires were energy, fashion and retail, manufacturing, finance and diversified, Forbes said.

 

RICH AND GENEROUS

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates held on to second place, growing his wealth to $56 billion from $53 billion last year, and investor Warren Buffett again came in third with $50 billion, up from $47 billion.

 

Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc has fared better than Gates' Microsoft. Microsoft shares now trade about where they were a decade ago, while Berkshire shares have roughly doubled. Slim's major companies, which include Mexico's former state telecoms monopoly Telmex, have also seen stock price gains.

 

Forbes said that Gates would have still been the richest man in the world if he had not so far given $28 billion of his wealth to his foundation. He was only knocked off the top spot on the list twice between 1995 and 2010.

 

The wealth of the world's billionaires jumped 25 percent to $4.5 trillion and their average net worth rose to $3.7 billion from $3.5 billion. There were 47 people who dropped off the list, 42 who returned and 10 people who died. The number of women grew to 102 from 89 last year.

 

While positions have shifted, the top 20 was largely unchanged. New this year were Russian steel baron Vladimir Lisin, U.S. casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and manufacturing and energy billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch.

 

Adelson -- whose Las Vegas Sands Corp came close to defaulting on its debt last year -- posted the biggest increase in wealth behind Slim. His fortune grew to $23.3 billion from $14 billion, and he soared to No. 16 from No. 73 last year.

 

The Asia-Pacific's growth in wealth has also fueled a luxury goods demand, helping grow the fortune of Europe's richest man, LVMH Chief Executive Bernard Arnault, to $41 billion from $27.5 billion. He rose to No. 4 from No. 7.

 

"The global economy is recovering, but it is not all spread across the board," said Forbes. "Yes, there are increases (the number of billionaires) in Europe, but primarily it is Russia. The United States barely pokie games online registered an increase."

 

"In terms of wealth, the dog that isn't barking is Japan," said Forbes, referencing a Sherlock Holmes novel. "(It has) a fairly small number of billionaires compared to the size of the economy."

 

The number of U.S. billionaires rose to 413 from 403, including three new Facebook billionaires -- Sean Parker, Eduardo Saverin and Dustin Moskovitz -- who join founder Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook investor Peter Thiel.

 

Moskovitz is also the youngest billionaire in the world at 26 and with a fortune of $2.7 billion, while the honor of being the oldest goes to Swiss tech billionaire Walter Haefner, who is 100 and worth $4 billion.

 

Canadian David Thomson, who owns Thomson Reuters, widened his lead over his financial news and data rival, New York City Mayor and Bloomberg owner Michael Bloomberg. Thomson rose three spots to No. 17 with $23 billion, while Bloomberg fell seven spots to No. 30 with a fortune of $18.1 billion.

 

Forbes ranked the billionaires' fortunes at the close of global stock markets on February 14, 2011. The full Forbes ranking of the world's billionaires can be seen at www.forbes.com/billionaires

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Mark Egan and Gary Hill)

The Fortune 101

Russian rank

World rank

Name

Wealth, $bln

Industry

1

14

Vladimir Lisin

24

Steel

2

29

Alexei Mordashov

18.5

Steel

3

32

Mikhail Prokhorov

18

Investments

4

34

Vladmir Potanin

17.8

Nonferrous metals

5

35

Alisher Usmanov

17.7

Steel, telecoms, stocks

6

36

Oleg Deripaska

16.8

Aluminum

7

43

Mikhail Fridman

15.1

Oil, banking, telecoms

8

50

Vagit Alekperov

13.9

Oil

9

53

Roman Abramovich

13.4

Steel, investments

10

57

Viktor Vekselberg

13

Oil, metals

11

70

Viktor Rashnikov

11.2

Steel

12

88

Iskander Makhmudov

9.9

Mining, metals, machinery

13

92

German Khan

9.6

Oil, banking, telecoms

14

93

Dmitry Rybolovlev

9.5

Fertilizers

15

99

Leonid Mikhelson

9.1

Natural gas

16

102

Igor Zyuzin

8.9

Steel

17

105

Andrei Melnichenko

8.6

Coal, fertilizers

18

117

Sergei Popov

7.9

Banking, coal

19

118

Suleiman Kerimov

7.8

Investments

20

120

Vladimir Yevtushenkov

7.7

Telecoms

21

124

Alexander Abramov

7.5

Steel, mining

21

124

Alexei Kuzmichyov

7.5

Oil, banking, telecoms

23

133

Leonid Fedun

7.1

Oil

24

185

Boris Ivanshvili

5.5

Investments

24

185

Sergei Galitsky

5.5

Retail

24

185

Gennady Timchenko

5.5

Oil trading

27

193

Nikolai Tsvetkov

5.3

Banking, retail

28

235

Pyotr Aven

4.5

Oil, banking, telecoms

29

281

Andrei Skoch

3.9

Metals

30

304

Vasily Anisimov

3.6

Metals, real estate

31

310

Filaret Galchev

3.5

Construction materials

32

336

Vladimir Bogdanov

3.3

Oil

32

336

Alexander Frolov

3.3

Mining, steel

34

347

Dmitry Pumpyansky

3.2

Steel pipes

34

347

Andrei Molchanov

3.2

Construction materials

36

420

Vadim Novinsky

2.7

Steel

36

420

Andrei Klyamko

2.7

Steel

38

459

Mikhail Gutseriyev

2.5

Oil, real estate

38

459

Alexander Nesis

2.5

Metals, banking, fertilizers

40

512

Alexander Mamut

2.3

Investments

40

512

Mikhail Balakin

2.3

Construction

40

512

Andrei Guryev

2.3

Fertilizers

40

512

Anatoly Skurov

2.3

Coal

44

564

Alexander Lebedev

2.1

Investments, banking

44

564

Alexander Dzhaparidze

2.1

Oil services

44

564

Ziyad Manasir

2.1

Construction

47

595

Valery Kogan

2

Airports

48

651

Rustam Tariko

1.9

Banking

48

651

Alexei Ananyev

1.9

Banking, IT, real estate

48

651

Dmitry Ananyev

1.9

Banking, IT, real estate

48

651

Anatoly Sedykh

1.9

Steel pipes

52

692

Lev Kvetnoi

1.8

Cement, airports

52

692

Igor Kasayev

1.8

Tobacco distribution, retail

52

692

Valentin Bukhtoyarov

1.8

Coal

52

692

Alexander Shchukin

1.8

Coal

52

692

Vladimir Melnichenko

1.8

Coal

57

736

Alexander Ponomarenko

1.7

Ports

57

736

Alexander Skorobogatko

1.7

Ports

59

782

David Davidovich

1.6

Food, metals

59

782

Vyacheslav Kantor

1.6

Fertilizers, real estate

59

782

Gleb Fetisov

1.6

Telecoms, finance

59

782

Megdet Rakhimkulov

1.6

Investments

59

782

Vadim Moshkovich

1.6

Agriculture, development

64

833

Andrei Kozitsyn

1.5

Metals

64

833

Danil Khachaturov

1.5

Insurance, banking, real estate

64

833

Sergei Sarkisov

1.5

Insurance, real estate

64

833

Nikolai Sarkisov

1.5

Insurance, real estate

64

833

Aras Agalarov

1.5

Retail, real estate

64

833

Yury Kovalchuk

1.5

Banking, insurance, media

64

833

Viktor Kharitonin

1.5

Pharmaceuticals

64

833

Dmitry Mazepin

1.5

Chemicals

72

879

Vladimir Gridin & family

1.4

Coal, engineering

72

879

Samvel Karapetyan

1.4

Development

74

938

Gennady Kozovoi

1.3

Coal

74

938

Alexander Vagin

1.3

Coal

76

993

Yelena Baturina

1.2

Construction

76

993

Andrei Kosogov

1.2

Oil, telecoms, banking

76

993

Andrei Rogachyov

1.2

Retail

76

993

Pyotr Kondrashov

1.2

Fertilizers

76

993

Gavril Yushvayev

1.2

Food industries, real estate

76

993

Anatoly Lomakin

1.2

Fertilizers

76

993

Nikolai Maximov& family

1.2

Investments

76

993

Mikhail Abyzov

1.2

Power

84

1057

Igor Altushkin

1.1

Metals

84

1057

Alexander Putilov

1.1

Oil

84

1057

Zarakh Iliyev

1.1

Real estate

84

1057

God Nisanov

1.1

Real estate

84

1057

Arkady Rotenberg

1.1

Construction, pipes, finance

84

1057

Konstantin Nikolayev

1.1

Ports, railway transport

84

1057

Nikita Mishin

1.1

Ports, railway transport

84

1057

Andrei Filatov

1.1

Ports, railway transport

84

1057

Dmitry Kamenshchik

1.1

Airports

84

1057

Andrei Kuzyayev

1.1

Telecoms, oil service, real estate

94

1140

Oleg Boiko

1

Entertainment, retail, real estate

94

1140

Andrei Komarov

1

Manufacturing

94

1140

Yury Milner

1

Social networking

94

1140

Andrei Borodin

1

Banking

94

1140

Vadim Yakunin

1

Pharmaceuticals

94

1140

Alexander Girda

1

Retail

94

1140

Dmitry Korzhev

1

Retail

94

1140

Dmitry Troitsky

1

Retail

Source: forbes.com


 

 
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