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The Warsaw Voice » Business » April 30, 2010
Business & Economy
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Mexican Tycoon Tops Rich List
April 30, 2010   
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Mexican telecommunications tycoon Carlos Slim Helu has overtaken Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to become the world’s richest man, according to Forbes magazine’s new list of the world’s richest people.

Forbes estimates the Mexican’s assets at $53.5 billion, $500 million more than Microsoft founder Gates is worth. In third place on the magazine’s annual rich list is financial guru Warren Buffett, the owner of the Berkshire Hathaway fund, who is worth $47 billion. Buffett was the wealthiest person in the world in 2007, but turmoil on the financial markets hit him more than Gates and Slim.

Slim controls the America Movil corporation which owns Telcel, the largest cell phone operator in Mexico, and Telmex, a telecom monopolist operating in Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and other countries. Slim’s companies provide services to over 200 million customers.

Compared to the world’s three wealthiest men, Poland’s richest look relatively poor. Forbes names Jan Kulczyk, the owner of the Kulczyk Holding and investment group Kulczyk Investments, as Poland’s richest person. With assets estimated at $2.1 billion, Kulczyk comes in 463rd place on the Forbes international list, followed by Zygmunt Solorz-Żak, the founder of the private Polsat television station (488th with $2 billion). The third richest Pole is Leszek Czarnecki, the owner of the financial holding Getin Holding (721st with $1.4 billion).

The Forbes top ten also includes steel tycoon Lakshimi Mittal, Mukesh Ambani, the head of the Indian chemical corporation Reliance Industrie, Larry Ellison, who founded the IT corporation Oracle, Bernard Arnault, who heads the LVMH corporation, and Karl Albrecht, one of the founders of the Aldi supermarket chain.

The world’s wealthiest woman is Christy Walton, who inherited her fortune from her husband, the founder of the Wal-Mart chain, the largest retailer in the world in terms of sales.

Taken together, the top ten billionaires are worth $342 billion, $88 million more than last year. According to Forbes, 1,011 people have fortunes worth more than $1 billion. Last year, there were 793 billionaires. The people on the Forbes list, each of whom is worth at least $1 billion, come from 55 countries, most of them from the United States. China has the second largest number of billionaires, just ahead of Russia.
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