World richest billionaires: guess who's back on top?



The annual envy list is out again, listing the world's richest billionaires, and their massive fortunes. According to Forbes there are now 1,645 billionaires around the world - including 172 women - with a combined total wealth of $6.4 trillion. Two thirds of these people made their own fortune.

So who took the top spot, and which famous face was the highest climber?

1. Bill Gates - $76 billion

The richest man in the world is Bill Gates. He re-took the number one spot in this list, after four years as the number two behind Mexican telecoms magnate Carlos Slim Helu. He can now boast of having spent 15 of the last 20 years in pole position

He benefited from a big rise in the price of Microsoft shares, which meant his fortune increased by $9 billion. And after years focusing on charity work he has said he will devote more of his time to developing ideas with Microsoft.

2. Carlos Slim Helu $72 billion

Down from number one, the 74-year-old Mexican businessman has suffered from a 50% drop in the share price of his mining company - Minera Frisco. He also faced a drop in the value of his biggest asset, the telecoms firm America Movil.

3. Amancio Ortega $64 billion

The Spanish clothing billionaire is best known as the man behind the Zara brand. He holds onto the number three spot for the second year in a row, party because of the growth in value of his real estate portfolio - which is now said to be worth $5 billion.

4. Warren Buffett $58.2 billion

The 84-year-old investment guru behind Berkshire Hathaway has made billions from investing in strong companies for the long term. High profile deals this year included buying HJ Heinz with a venture capital firm, and investing almost $4 billion in Exxon Mobil.

5. Larry Ellison $48 billion

The Oracle founder and CEO spent a small fortune bringing the America's Cup to San Francisco, but it didn't make much of a dent in his wealth. He has also diversified into real estate and owns most of a Hawaiian island.

6 Charles Koch $40 billion

Charles is chairman and CEO of Koch industries, the second largest conglomerate in the US - which owns a huge variety of business across the country and is still growing. The business has been passed down the family, and the inheritance has been added to dramatically.

6 David Koch $40 billion

David Koch is co-owner of 84% of Koch Industries with his brother, which makes the pair officially the richest siblings in the world. David is also the richest man in New York.

8 Sheldon Adelson $38 billion

The Las Vegas mogul has been out of the top 10 for seven years, but he averaged earnings of $32 million a day in the past year, which has enabled him to make up some ground. Shares in his business, Las Vegas Sands, have benefited particularly from booming business in Asia.

9 Christy Walton and family $36.7 billion

Christy is the richest woman in the world. She inherited her fortune from her husband John who died in a plane crash in 2005. He in turn inherited it from his father Sam Walton - who co-founded Walmart. The reason why Christy is the richest member of her generation is that John had made a number of investments on the side which have paid off.

10 Jim Walton $34.7 billion

Jim is the youngest son of Sam Walton, and as well as benefiting from his Walmart shares, he is Chairman and CEO of the family bank.

The fastest riser of the year was Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg, who made it to number 21. The rising value of Facebook shares meant that his fortune increased by $15.2 billion to $28.5 billion.

In terms of British residents, the richest billionaire is Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor and his family, whose $13 billion fortune is founded on an enormous inherited portfolio of central London property - as well as over 100,000 acres of land around the world. Meanwhile retailing billionaire Sir Philip Green makes it to number 270 with $5.2 billion, and Richard Branson is in at number 281 with $5 billion.