Top 10 Richest Person In The World 2009
William Gates III
Rank: 1 Net Worth: $40.0 bil, Fortune: self made
Software visionary regains title as the world’s richest man despite
losing $18 billion in the past 12 months. Stepped down from day-to-day
duties at Microsoft last summer to devote his talents and riches to the
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Organization’s assets were $30
billion in January; annual letter lauds endowment manager Michael
Larson for limiting last year’s losses to 20%. Gates decided to
increase donations in 2009 to $3.8 billion, up 15% from 2008.
Rank: 2 Net Worth: $37.0 bil, Fortune: self made
Last year America’s most beloved investor was the world’s richest man .
This year he has to settle for second place after losing $25 billion in
12 months. Shares of Berkshire Hathaway down 45% since last March.
Injected billions of dollars into Goldman Sachs, GE in exchange for
preferred stock last fall; propped up insurance firm Swiss Re in
February with $2.6 billion infusion. Admits he made some "dumb"
investment mistakes in 2008. Upbeat about America’s future: "Our
economic system has worked extraordinarily well over time.
Carlos Slim Helu & family
Rank: 3 Net Worth: $35.0 bil, Fortune: self made
Economic downturn and plunging peso shaved $25 billion from the fortune
of Latin America’s richest man. Global recession testing his ability to
live up to the principles he sets for his employees: "Maintain
austerity in times of fat cows." Son of a Lebanese immigrant bought
fixed line operator Telefonos de Mexico (Telmex) in 1990; now controls
90% of Mexico’s telephone landlines.
Rank: 4 Net Worth: $22.5 bil, Fortune: self made
Database titan continues to engulf the competition; Oracle has racked
up 49 acquisitions in the past 4 years. Bought BEA Systems for $8.5
billion last year. Still sitting on $7 billion in cash. Revenues up 11%
to $10.9 billion in the six months ended November 30; profits also up
11% to $2.4 billion. Stock down 25% in past 12 months. Invested $125
million in Web software outfit Netsuite; took public in 2007, stock has
fallen 80% since. His shares still worth $300 million.
Ingvar Kamprad & family
Rank: 5 Net Worth: $22.0 bil, Fortune: self made
Peddled matches, fish, pens, Christmas cards and other items by bicycle
as a teenager. Started selling furniture in 1947. Opened first Ikea
store 50 years ago; stores’s name is a combination of initials of his
first and last name, his family farm and the nearest village. Retired
in 1986; company’s "senior adviser" still reportedly works tirelessly
on his brand. Discount retailer now sells 9,500 items in 36 countries;
prints catalog in 27 languages. Revenues up 7% to $27.4 billion in
fiscal year 2008.
Rank: 6 Net Worth: $21.5 bil, Fortune:self made
Germany’s richest person owns discount supermarket giant Aldi Sud.
Retailer faring well amid economic downturn; analysts expect its 2008
sales to be up 9.4% to $33.7 billion. Sales in the U.S. up estimated
20% last year to $7 billion. Plans to open 75 U.S. stores in 2009,
including first in New York City.
Rank: 7 Net Worth: $19.5 bil, Fortune: inherited and growing
Oversees Reliance Industries, India’s most valuable company by market
cap despite stock falling 40% in past year. Merging his Reliance
Petroleum with flagship Reliance Industries. As part of deal, will
exercise right to buy back Chevron’s 5% stake in Reliance Petroleum at
$1.20 per share—the same price at which he sold it 3 years ago. Today
the stock trades for $1.80 a share. Increased stake in Reliance
Industries in October; paid $3.4 billion to convert 120 million
preferential warrants into shares. Reliance Petroleum refinery on
India’s western coast began operating in December despite falling
global demand and declining margins.
Rank: 8 Net Worth: $19.3 bil, Fortune: inherited and growing
Indian immigrant heads world’s largest steel company; ArcelorMittal was
formed via hostile takeover 3 years ago. Stock in company makes up bulk
of his fortune; shares at a 4-year low with steel prices down 75% since
last summer. Company forced to pay heavy fines after a French antitrust
investigation found 10 companies guilty of price-fixing in European
steel markets. Arcelor posted $2.6 billion loss in most recent quarter;
announced plans to slow acquisitions, cut capital expenditures, pay
down debt. Started in family steel business in the 1970s, branched out
on his own in 1994.
Rank: 9 Net Worth:Net Worth:$18.8 bil, Fortune:self made
Runs discount supermarket group Aldi Nord; firm holding up amid
economic downturn. Sales expected to hit $31 billion in 2008. After
World War II he and older brother Karl transformed their mother’s
corner grocery into Aldi. Brothers split ownership in 1961; Karl took
the stores in southern Germany, plus the rights to the brand in the
U.K., Australia and the U.S.
Rank: 10, Net Worth: $18.3 bil ,Fortune: self made
Railway worker’s son started as a gofer in a shirt store. With
then-wife Rosalia Mera, also now a billionaire, started making dressing
gowns and lingerie in their living room. Business became one of world’s
most successful apparel manufacturers. Today Inditex has more than
4,000 stores in 71 countries. Sales: $12.3 billion. Ortega is chairman.
Company exported its cheap chic Zara stores to 4 new markets last year:
Ukraine, South Korea, Montenegro and Honduras. Stock up 1% in past 12
months, but fortune down because of weak euro.
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