Bill Gates Overtakes Carlos Slim As World's Richest Man

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Microsoft founder Bill Gates has displaced Mexico's Carlos Slim as the world's richest man as his net worth rose to USD76 billion from USD67 billion a year ago.

Meanwhile, America Movil's founder, Carlos Slim saw his wealth fell slightly to USD72 billion as shares in his telecoms companies fell in the face of tighter regulatory conditions in Mexico.

The rankings are compiled by Forbes, which listed a global total of 1,645 billionaires.

To make it into the top 20 list now needs a personal fortune of at least USD31 billion -- a sharp increase on the USD21 billion it would have taken in 2013. Much of the rise is thanks to surging stock markets and profit rich companies returning more money to shareholders.

The largest net gainer in wealth though was Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, who saw his personal fortune more than double to USD28.5 billion as Facebook's shares recovered from their post-IPO decline.

WhatsApp founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton entered the list for the first time at places 202 and 551 respectively, due to Facebook's USD19 billion purchase of their company.

While tech firms dominated the list in the USA, in the UK, old money topped the rankings, as the Duke of Westminster's land assets were worth USD13 billion.

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