Carlos Slim, the Mexican telecommunications billionaire with a net worth of $53.5bn, has been crowned the world’s richest person by Forbes magazine – the first time in 16 years the post has been held by a non-American.
The annual Richest People list reflects the growing power of emerging economies, with Asia supplying most of the 97 billionaires making their debut on the list in 2010, minting 62 new contenders. Forbes said Asia trailed the number of European billionaires by only 14.
Mr Slim, who came to the rescue of the New York Times in 2009 with a loan and investment, added $18.5bn to his net worth. He beat Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder and last year’s number one, and Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, for the top spot. Mr Gates and Mr Buffett’s net worths were $53bn and $47bn respectively