Carlos Slim tops Forbes annual rich list

Carlos Slim Carlos Slim has diverse business interests

Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim has once again come top of Forbes magazine's annual list of the world's richest billionaires.

The magazine estimates that Mr Slim, whose business interests range from telecommunications to construction, is worth $69bn (£44bn).

He is followed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates on $61bn, and US investor Warren Buffett on $44bn.

Mr Slim, 72, has now topped the list for three years in succession.

Steve Forbes "Philanthropic efforts where entrepreneurs put their brains to work can get some good results"

In fourth and fifth place on the list are two Europeans, Bernard Arnault, the chairman and chief executive of French luxury goods group LVMH, and Amancio Ortego, the founder of Spanish fashion business Zara.

Mr Arnault is estimated to be worth $41bn, and Mr Ortega $37.5bn.

They are followed by Larry Ellison, the founder and chief executive of US software group Oracle. He is estimated to be worth $36bn.

Li Ka-Shing in ninth position on $25.5bn is the highest-placed Asian. The Hong Kong-based owner of Hutchison Whampoa and Cheung Kong Holdings is the world's biggest operator of container terminals.

Indian steel boss Lakshmi Mittal, in 21st place, was one of the biggest fallers on the list this year, dropping out of the top 10.

His wealth is now estimated at $20.7bn, down by $10.4bn as a result of higher costs and lower steel demand in Europe.

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