NEW YORK: Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates once again topped the Forbes magazine list of the world’s more than 2,000 billionaires, while U.S. President Donald Trump slipped over 200 spots, the magazine said Monday.
Forbes List Of World’s Richest: Bill Gates Again Tops, Donald Trump Slips
Gates, whose wealth is estimated at $86 billion, led the list for the fourth straight year, and has been ranked as the richest person in the world for 18 of the past 23 years. Among the highest 10 billionaires, a group heavily dominated by Americans. Several from the technology sector, Gates was followed by Berkshire Hathaway chief Warren Buffett, with wealth was estimated at $75.6 billion. Since a $14.8 billion jump from the 2016 list despite his pledge to give away 99 % of his wealth.
Others in the top 10 included Amazon founder Jeff Bezos who moved up to number 3 with the most important gain of any person on the planet, a $27.6 billion increase to his fortune of $72.8 billion. Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg was number 5 and Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison was number 7.
There are 183 tech billionaires in all with a combined $1 trillion in wealth, Forbes said.
Partial Trump Slump
Trump slipped 220 spots on the list to 544 with an estimated $3.5 billion, a decline of $1 billion from last year. Forbes attributed Trump’s drop to sluggishness in the midtown Manhattan real estate market that is responsible for a disproportionate amount of his wealth.
“40 % of Donald Trump‘s fortune is pledged in Trump Tower and eight buildings within one mile of it,” Forbes said. “Lately, the neighborhood has been struggling (relatively speaking).”
Forbes additionally said Trump’s wealth was hit by $66 million in political spending on his successful presidential campaign, as well as $25 million to settle litigation he allegedly ripped off students at Trump University. The U.S. president also would have lost the big stock market rally following his election, “assuming Trump sold off all of his stocks during last year’s campaign, as he has claimed,” the magazine said.
But not all of the trends were negative for Trump. The magazine estimated the value of the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida rose $25 million due to post-election exposure. Trump also got a lift from an increase in land values in lower Manhattan where he holds the 40 Wall Street tower.
More Successful Women
Rounding out the Forbes top 10, Amancio Ortega of Spanish apparel chain Zara was fourth; Mexican telecom tycoon Carlos Slim was sixth; the Koch brothers, U.S. conservative political activists Charles and David, were eighth and ninth; and former New York city mayor and Bloomberg News founder Michael Bloomberg was 10th.
The highest ranking woman on the list was L’Oreal cosmetics shareholder Liliane Bettencourt, who was 14th with $39.5 billion. The only other woman in the top 20 was Alice Walton, only daughter of Wal-Mart Stores founder Sam Walton. Overall, there were 227 women billionaires, the majority of whom inherited their wealth. However the list also contained 15 new “self-made” women, mostly from Asian countries, including Vietnam’s Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao of budget airline VietJet air.
Among other luminaries on the list, Alibaba founder Jack Ma was 23rd with $28.3 billion; activist investor and Trump deregulation adviser Carl Icahn was 55th with $16.6 billion; fashion designer Giorgio Armani was tied for 215th with $6.6 billion; Hollywood director Steven Spielberg was tied for 501st with $3.7 billion. And entertainment giant Oprah Winfrey was tied for 660th with $3 billion.