The U.S. and China are now home to a similar number of billionaires, according to Forbes’ latest billionaires list. Russia is also a strong presence in a list that encompasses $US6.4 trillion in global wealth.
Even if you can’t be the richest person in the world, it’s still pretty cool to be the richest person in your country.
Many billionaires have held the title of richest in their country for a number of years, but as always, there are a number of new titleholders this year.
Additional reporting by Max Rosenberg.
Net worth: $US7 billion
Forbes rank: 191
Background: Hart increased his wealth by $US2 billion since last year. His company, Reynolds Group Holdings, which manufactures packaging material, has annual revenue of about $US14 billion. Hart also owns Carter Holt Harvey, an Australasian paper, packing and building supplies company.
Net worth: $US7.6 billion
Forbes rank: 173
Background: Rupert built his fortune on luxury goods, including with the Swiss-based Compagnie Financiere Richemont, which owns brands like Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Montblanc. He also spent $4 million last year on
a buffalo bull, used for breeding buffalo for private game reserves.
Net worth: $US9.2 billion
Forbes rank: 136
Background: Mateschitz is the creator of Red Bull, the energy drink that is popular worldwide and has seen its sales increase 16% in the past two years. He also owns stakes in two soccer teams, a Formula One racing team, and a luxury resort in Fiji.
Net worth: $US10.2 billion
Forbes rank: 119
Background: He is the grandson of the inventor of Legos, the ubiquitous kids' building block. Kristiansen ran the company for 25 years before stepping down in 2004. Currently, he is majority owner and deputy chairman of the board. Kristiansen also invested in Merlin Entertainments, which went public at the end of last year and operates attractions like the Madame Tussuad's wax museums.
Net worth: $10.4 billion
Forbes rank: 113
Background: Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken took over the beer company Heineken when her father, Henry Heineken, passed away leaving her his fortune. Carvalho-Heineken lives her life out of the spotlight. Unlike her father, who was known to show off his wealth, she lives an anonymous life with her husband and five kids.
Net worth: $US11 billion
Forbes rank: 106
Background: The Ng brothers inherited a property empire from their late father called the Far East Organisation. The company developed more than 700 hotels, malls and condos in Singapore and Hong Kong that have a combined value of more than $US6 billion. Last year, they snapped up a lot of real estate in Australia.
Net worth: $11 billion
Forbes rank: 106
Background: Petr Kellner created an investment fund by borrowing $US1 million against an office supplies business. Through the fund, he acquired a controlling stake in an insurer during its privatization. He recently announced that he was selling his stake in the insurer for $US3.6 billion. This year Kellner also bought Spanish giant Telefónica's Czech business for $US3.2 billion.
Net worth: $11.1 billion
Forbes rank: 102
Background: Lee Kun-Hee is the chairman of Samsung, which accounts for around 20% of Korea's gross domestic product. In 2008, he stepped down as chairman due to charges of tax evasion and breach of trust. But after being pardoned, he resumed his position in March of 2010. Shares of Samsung Electronics hit an all-time high in January 2013, increasing his net worth even more.
Net worth: $US11.4 billion
Forbes rank: 97
Background: Sy has vast property holdings that he recently merged with mall operator SM Prime Holdings to create a company with a $US9.3 billion market cap. Shares of his holding firm SM Investments fell 30% in the past year, but he won a $1.2 billion contract to reclaim land in Manila, next to his Mall of Asia.
Net worth: $11.4 billion
Forbes rank: 97
Background: Chearavanont was involved in more than half of the $US31 billion in total business deals announced in Thailand in 2013. He expanded his conglomerate Charoen Pokphand's core businesses in agribusiness, food, telecommunications, retail and distribution.
Net worth: $11.5 billion
Forbes rank: 95
Background: Kuok made his fortune in the shipping, palm oil, cane sugar fields and properties in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. His Kerry Properties shares fell in 2013, but his biggest source of wealth is still his stake in Wilmar, the world's largest listed palm oil company.
Net worth: $12 billion
Forbes rank: 92
Background: Ernesto Bertarelli inherited his father's company, Serono, SA, which manufactured a drug to combat multiple sclerosis. His family sold the company in 2007 for $US9 billion. Today he is involved with Kedge Capital and Ares Life Sciences and co-chairs the Bertarelli Foundation, which focuses on marine conservation and life sciences research.
Net worth: $US12.5 billion
Forbes rank: 88
Background: Akhmetov's net worth is comprised of DTEK, his energy company, and Metinvest, his steel producer. Recently, his wealth has suffered from weak demand and slumping prices for his steel and iron ore assets. Akhmetov also once called deposed Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich an ally, which is causing some protest of his business.
Net worth: $13 billion
Forbes rank: 81
Background: Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor's wealth comes from his Grosvenor Property Group. His real estate group has holdings on five continents. Cavendish is also sixth Duke of Westminster. He owns 190 acres in Belgravia next to Buckingham Palace and his family owns 96,000 acres in Scotland, 32,000 acres in Spain and thousands elsewhere in England.
Net worth: $13.6 billion
Forbes rank: 76
Background: John Fredriksen is a oil-tanker and shipping tycoon and owns company Frontline Ltd. In 2005 he got into the deepwater drilling business with Seadrill, which still pays him $US400 million a year in dividends. Fredricksen also expanded into the fish farming business.
Net worth: $14.2 billion
Forbes rank: 72
Background: Sarmiento started out in the construction industry and later expanded his empire into financial services. His company Grupo Aval, which he still chairs at 81 years old, now controls one-third of all banking in Colombia.
Net worth: $15.1 billion
Forbes rank: 64
Background: Jianlin owns 75 department stores, 85 shopping plazas and 51 five star hotels. He bought the U.S. movie chain AMC in 2012 and listed it on the New York Stock Exchange at the end of last year.
Net worth: $15.5 billion
Forbes rank: 58
Background: Iris Fontbona and her sons inherited control of one of the largest copper mining companies, Antofagasta. She also owns resorts and has interests in energy, transportation, and port services.
Net worth: $US17.7 billion
Forbes rank: 46
Background: Rinehart acquired her wealth through the inheritance of her father's mining assets. She's the executive chairman of Hancock Prospecting, and this year she expects to finalise a $US7 billion debt package to develop one of the world's largest iron ore mines. The firm is also adding oil and gas to its portfolio.
Net worth: $18.4 billion
Forbes rank: 42
Background: Masayoshi Son founded Softbank, Asia's top Internet venture. In the past year, he's also acquired 72% of Sprint for about $US21.6 billion and made a $US1.26 billion investment in mobile phone distributor Brightstar. Softbank also bought a majority stake in Finnish game maker Supercell for $US1.5 billion.
Net worth: $18.6 billion
Forbes rank: 40
Background: Usmanov originally got rich in steel and iron, but has since expanded his assets. He holds stakes in one of the largest cell phone operators in Russia, Silicon Valley startups, and even held a large stake in Facebook at the time of its IPO.
Net worth: $19.7 billion
Forbes rank: 34
Background: Lemann founded Banco Garantia in 1971 and sold it in 1998 for $US675 million. He now holds stakes in the world's largest beer company, Anheuser-Busch InBev. His private equity firm 3G Capital also recently bought Heinz, with Warren Buffett.
Net worth: $20.4 billion
Forbes rank: 30
Background: This prince started young; he was chairman of his own company by the age of 14. Bin Talal owns stakes in private and public companies in the U.S., Europe and the Middle East, mostly through Kingdom Holding Co. Forbes estimated the prince's net worth by calculating the value of the assets owned by Kingdom Holding because of the lack of any analyst coverage and the holding's relatively thin trading. He filed a defamation suit against the publication last year over its valuation of his wealth.
Net worth: $22.6 billion
Forbes rank: 27
Background: David Thomson is the chairman of the media and publishing company Thomson Reuters. His grandfather Roy founded the company in 1934. The private holding company Woodbridge runs the business for the family with a 55% stake.
Net worth: $US25 billion
Forbes rank: 23
Background: Dangote jumped up 20 spots from his ranking last year as only the 43rd richest person in the world. He added $US9 billion to his wealth by announcing in April that he would move into the oil industry with financing from local and international lenders to build a private oil refinery, fertiliser and petrochemical complex in Nigeria. Dangote first made his name as a commodities trader with interests in sugar, flour, salt and cement.
Net worth: $25 billion
Forbes rank: 23
Background: Karl Albrecht served in WWII for Germany's army and used lessons from war and postwar Germany to build his successful company Aldi Sud, a discount supermarket chain, with his brother. The grocery store now has 4,800 locations in nine countries, including 1,300 locations in the U.S. Its estimated revenue in 2013 was $US50.54 billion and the store will continue to expand in the U.S. and Australia.
Net worth: $26.5 billion
Forbes rank: 22
Background: Michele Ferrero owns European chocolate company Ferrero. Ferrero created Tic-Tacs, Kinder Eggs, Nutella, and of course Ferrero Rocher. Unlike most Italian billionaires, Ferrero prefers to live life out of the spotlight and simply has a passion for creating great chocolate.
Net worth: $31 billion
Forbes rank: 20
Background: Li Ka-Shing is Asia's richest person. He runs one of the largest companies in the world, which started by manufacturing plastic toys and flowers, with 260,000 employees in 52 countries. His stakes in Hutchinson Whampoa, Cheung Kong and Husky Energy have paid dividends of $US1.7 billion in just the past two years.
Net worth: $34.4 billion
Forbes rank: 12
Background: Persson is the chairman of H&M, the budget retail store that has expanded quickly across the U.S. and Europe. His father founded H&M in 1947. Persson increased his wealth by adding more English countryside to his real estate portfolio. He's also enjoying the 25% hike in stock value that H&M has received in the past year.
Net worth: $34.5 billion
Forbes rank: 11
Background: Liliane Bettencourt and her family grew wealthier this year thanks to the 9% stock increase of its cosmetics empire L'Oreal. Bettencourt is no longer involved in running the company her father started. But her grandson has a seat on the board, and the family is set to increase its stake in the company to 33% thanks to a planned purchase of 8% from Nestle later this year.
Net worth: $64 billion
Forbes rank: 3
Background: Amancio Ortega, the world's richest retailer, began his career as a manager at a clothing shop. He recently stepped down as chairman of Inditex, best known for the profitable brand Zara, which sells trends at low prices. But he still owns 60% of its shares and has begun growing a real estate portfolio with an estimated value of $US5 billion.
Net worth: $72 billion
Forbes rank: 2
Background: Carlos Slim was the richest man in the world for four years running until Bill Gates eclipsed him this year. His wealth slipped when shares of Minera Frisco, his mining company, plummeted 50% in the past year along with the cost of gold and copper. America Movil, Slim's largest asset, also dipped in value since its last valuation of $US36.3 billion.
Net worth: $76 billion
Forbes rank: 1
Background: The wealthiest man in America did not even graduate from college. Gates dropped out of Harvard University his junior year when he had his idea for Microsoft. He stepped down as Microsoft chairman in February when new CEO Satya Nadella took over. Gates has focused on philanthropy like the Giving Pledge, which some of the world's super rich have signed to give away at least half of their net worth to charity.
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