With a net worth up to $18.5 billion in a year, Telecom tycoon Carlos Slim Helu has takes the number one spot on the Forbes annual Worlds Billionaires ranking. This year’s billionaires have an average net worth of $3.5 billion, up $500 million from 2010. Of those billionaires on last year's list, only 12% saw their fortunes decline.
Americans account for 40% of the world's billionaires, down from 45% a year ago, commending 38% of the collective $3.6 trillion net worth of the world's richest, down from 44% a year ago.
Asia made big gains; the region added 104 moguls and now has just 14 fewer than Europe, thanks to several large public offerings and swelling stock markets. For the first time China (including Hong Kong) has the most billionaires outside the US with 89 including Li Shufu, whose automaker, Geely, announced plans to buy Swedish brand Volvo from Ford in December. Russia has 62 billionaires, 28 of them returnees who had fallen off last year's list amid a meltdown in commodities. Finland and Pakistan both welcomed their first billionaires
To create the ranking of the world's richest people, more than 40 reporters in 13 countries spent the better part of a year valuing the assets of 1,011 billionaires. Included in the tally are stakes in publicly traded and privately held companies, real estate, paintings, gems, yachts and planes, plus hoards of cash. Privately held companies are valued by coupling estimates of revenues or profits to valuation metrics for similar public companies
To read the full article and view the rankings click here