The world’s 20 richest people lost more than $70 billion (roughly Rs 4.75 lakh crore) in the last year, owing to a slump in global financial markets, according to Forbes' latest annual ranking of billionaires. Their combined wealth dropped from $899 billion (Rs 60.9 lakh crore) in 2015 to $827 billion (Rs 56.07 lakh crore), while the number of billionaires fell from a record 1,826 last year to 1,810, the report said.
Mexican telecom tycoon Carlos Slim lost the highest amount – his fortune dipped from $77.1 billion to $50 billion in a year. However, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth surged $11.2 billion, making his net worth $44.6 billion. He now ranks as the sixth-richest person in the world. Microsoft founder Bill Gates was named the world’s richest man for the third consecutive year, but his wealth dropped from $79.2 billion to $75 billion.
Liliane Bettencourt, the heir to the L’Oreal empire, and Alice Walton, daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton, are the only female billionaires in the top 20. While the United States has the most number of billionaires at 540, China ranks second with 251, Germany third with 120 and India fourth with 84. The United Kingdom has 50 billionaires, lower than 53 in 2015. The number of billionaires in the Middle East and Africa fell from 106 to 90, while that in the Americas, excluding the United States, fell from 140 to 101.