The rich will keep getting richer: 300 wealthiest people in the world are more than $500 billion better off than this time last year, and Bill Gates is back on top
- Top 300 billionaires add $524 billion to their net worth in 2013
- Total wealth of world’s richest people stood at $3.7 trillion by end of year
- Biggest gains for technology bosses, whose wealth rose by 28 per cent
- Bill Gates’s riches increased by $15.8 billion to $78.5 billion
Back on top: Microsoft boss Bill Gates is back at the head of the world’s rich list as he added over $15billion to his total wealth
The world’s richest people grew even richer in 2013, adding $524 billion to their collective net worth, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a daily ranking of the world’s 300 wealthiest individuals.
The total worth of the world’s top billionaires stood at $3.7 trillion at the market close on Dec. 31, according to the ranking.
Bill Gates, the Microsoft founder, was the year’s biggest gainer, as he regained the title of world’s richest man, knocking Mexican Carlos Slim off the top spot.
The 58-year-old chairman of Microsoft’s fortune increased by $15.8 billion to $78.5 billion.
The news came as figures showed shares of Microsoft, the world’s largest software maker, rose 40 percent.
Mr Gates’s assets are mostly held in Cascade Investment LLC.
Through these investments he owns stakes in about three dozen publicly traded companies and several closely held businesses.
Elite: Sheldon Adelson’s (left) Las Vegas Sands Corp had a revenue of $13.2 billion in the 12 months ending September 30, while Amancio Ortega (right) retained the title of Europe’s richest person
Business leader: 58 year-old Gates’s wealth to $78.5 billion, according to Bloomberg’s index, as shares of Microsoft, the world’s largest software maker, rose by 40 per cent
Investment: Less than a quarter of Bill Gates’s wealth comes from Microsoft
Mr Gates’s assets have enjoyed a boost from a rally in stock holdings that include the Canadian National Railway Co. and sanitizing-products maker Ecolab Inc., which rose 34 percent and 45 percent respectively.
Investment in these companies mean that Gates has stakes in Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Corbis Corp., a photo-archive company.
John Pinette, a spokesman for Gates, declined to comment.
The most striking figures came from the technology sector, which soared 28 percent during the year.
Only 70 out of 300 registered a net loss for the 12-month period.
John Catsimatidis, the billionaire founder of real estate and energy conglomerate Red Apple Group Inc said: ‘The rich will keep getting richer in 2014.
‘Interest rates will remain low, equity markets will keep rising, and the economy will grow at less than 2 percent.’
Microsoft accounts for less than 25 per cent of Gates’s fortune.
The software tycoon has donated $28 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
A surge in global stocks in 2013 mean that last year was the best annual gain since 2009. The MSCI World Index advancing 24 percent during the year to close at 1,661.07 on Dec. 31.
The Standard and Poor’s 500 Index rose 30 percent to close at 1,848.36, its best yearly gain since 1997.
BLOOMBERG’S TOP TEN WEALTHIEST PEOPLE (NET WORTH)
1. Bill Gates – $78.5B
2. Carlos Slim – $72B
3. Amancio Ortega – $65.2B
4. Warren Buffett – $60.3B
5. Ingvar Kamprad – $52.8B
6. Charles Koch – $50B
7. David Koch – $50B
8. Larry Ellison $43.3B
9. Christy Walton – $39.1B
10. Sheldon Adelson – $37.5B
The Stoxx Europe 600 gained 17 percent to close at 328.26. Companies in the S&P 500 are worth $3.7 trillion more today than they were 12 months ago following a year when Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke signaled the curtailment of economic stimulus.
The bull market, born at the depths of the credit crisis, enters its sixth year fueled by near-zero interest rates and conviction among investors that it’s finally safe to own equities again.
Las Vegas Sands Corp. founder Sheldon Adelson was the second-biggest gainer in 2013, adding $14.4 billion to his net worth as the company’s shares rose 71 percent.
Revenue from the six gaming operators of China’s only legal casinos rose 18.6 percent to 360.75 billion patacas ($45.2 billion) last year.
Las Vegas Sands had revenue of $13.2 billion in the 12 months ending Sept. 30.
Slim lost $1.4 billion during 2013. His America Movil SAB, the largest mobile-phone operator in the Americas, dropped 12 percent in the first three months of the year after Mexico’s Congress passed a bill to quash the billionaire’s market dominance.
The company finished the year up 2 percent after a planned expansion into Europe was reined in, reassuring investors who were leery about the billions of dollars in investment the strategy would require.
Billionaire: Las Vegas Sands Corp. founder Sheldon Adelson was the second-biggest gainer in 2013, adding $14.4 billion to his net worth
Industry growth: Gaming revenue from the six operators of China’s only legal casinos rose 18.6 per cent to 360.75 billion patacas ($45.2 billion) last year
‘Billionaires are asking what they should do with their money in 2014,’ Mark Haefele, Global Head of Investment for UBS AG’s wealth-management unit, said.
‘Central banks will continue to be supportive, so equities will likely continue to rise during the year.’
Bloomberg News revealed 109 new billionaires in 2013. None of them have never appeared on an international wealth ranking.
For example, Lynsi Torres is the youngest female billionaire in the U.S.
The 31-year-old heiress to In-N-Out Burger has inherited a family chain which grew from a single drive-through hamburger stand founded in 1948 in Baldwin Park, California, to become a fast-food empire.
The company is now valued at more than $1 billion.
A negative story to emerge from these figures is Eike Batista, whose net worth slumped by more than $12 billion during the year.
OGX Petroleo & Gas Participacoes SA, the oil company that transformed him into Brazil’s richest man, went bankrupt in October.
Philanthropist: Gates has donated $28 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
In March 2012 Batista was the world’s eighth-richest person. He now has a negative net worth.
Amancio Ortega retains the title of Europe’s richest person. Inditex SA, the world’s largest clothing retailer, rose 14 percent during the year.
The billionaire is reported to have recently acquired an office building in London’s West End for £410 million.
Sergey Galitskiy, founder of OAO Magnit, Russia’s largest food retailer, added $5.3billion to his net worth in 2013, more than any other Russian billionaire.
The 46-year-old has a $13.8 billion fortune. Russia’s richest person is Alisher Usmanov, 60, with a net worth of $20.2billion.
Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia is still the the Middle East’s wealthiest person, enbding the year with a net worth of $32.4 billion. That is, up $3.7 billion for the year.
Aliko Dangote is Africa’s richest person. The founder of Dangote Group acquired $9.2 billion during the year, making him the 30th-richest person in the world.