Americans lose 'richest person' title

Thursday, March 11, 2010

New York - Mexican Telecom titan Carlos Slim Helu took the title of the world's richest person from Bill Gates' pocket, and became the first non-US billionaire to claim the spot in 16 years.

In the Forbes Magazine's 2010 billionaire list, which was announced in New York on Wednesday, Helu and his family knocked Gates out of the leading post with a total net worth of $53.5 billion.

Helu ranked third in the 2009 rankings. A Japanese tycoon had occupied the top spot before giving it up to the Microsoft founder in 1994.

Gates fell to the second position with $500 million less than Helu.

Master investor Warren Buffett, whose net worth increased by $10 billion to $47 billion benefiting from a price hike in his Berkshire Hathaway shares, dropped from the second position to the third.

Collectively, these three members of the Forbes list have gained $41.5 billion over the past year.

During the financial crisis from 2008 to 2009, these three had lost a collective $68 billion.