Mexico's Slim top Gates in billionaires index

A new ranking of the world's billionaires puts Mexican telco mogul Carlos Slim ahead of Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

A new ranking of the world’s billionaires puts Mexican telco mogul Carlos Slim ahead of Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

The Bloomberg news service's just-launched daily Billionaires Index calculates the changing market worth of 20 wealthiest individuals.

Mr Slim’s net worth fell $US478.4 million in a day to $US68.5 billion as of the close of markets on March 2, when the index was first calculated, but his fortune has increased 11% this year.

Mr Gates is worth $US62.4 billion, down $US102.1 million on March 2 and up 11% year to date.

Investor and co-philanthropist Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, declined $US336.9 million to $US43.8 billion on March 2 and is up 2.4% in 2012.

The combined net worth of the 20 richest people is $US676.8 billion. Nine are Americans, including three from the family of Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart Stores.

Three Europeans are ranked fourth, fifth and sixth. Sweden’s Ingvar Kamprad, who is worth $US42.5 billion, controls Ikea Group.

Bernard Arnault, chairman of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA (MC), has a $US42.3 billion based on his shareholding, while Spaniard Amancio Ortega owns the Zara clothing chain and is worth $US38.8 billion.

Oracle founder Larry Ellison’s $US38 billion fortune puts him seventh and $US4 billion ahead of brothers Charles and David Koch, who each own 42% of Koch Industries, a refining and chemical maker.

The fastest climber on the list is Brazil’s Eike Batista, who ranks 10th at $US29.8 billion, up $US133.9 million on March 2. His fortune based on investments in iron ore and coal, has grown 32% this year.

The top billionaire in the Australasian region is Gina Rinehart, the Australian mining heiress who is worth $US20.4 billion, $US2 billion short of the 20th person on the list, Liliane Bettencourt, heiress to the French Oréal empire.

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