World’s 300 Richest People Now Worth $3.7 Trillion

By: EW News Desk Team   Date: 3 January 2014

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EconomyWatch, News Desk Team

 

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03 January 2014

The world’s richest people got even richer in 2013, according to the latest Bloomberg Business Index published on Thursday, adding $524 billion to their collective wealth – now at $3.7 billion.

Collecting data up to December 31, Bloomberg found that just 70 out of the world’s top 300 billionaires saw a net loss in 2013, with the biggest gains in wealth coming from the technology industry, which soared 28 percent during the year.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates was the world’s richest person, seeing his fortune rise by $15.8 billion to $78.5 billion. Gates had benefited from a 40 percent increase in share price of Microsoft, while other stock holdings including the Canadian National Railway Co. and sanitizing-products maker Ecolab Inc., rose by 34 percent and 45 percent respectively.

Related: Bill Gates Is World’s Richest Man – Again

Related: Seven Secrets of the World’s Filthy Rich

“The rich will keep getting richer in 2014,” told John Catsimatidis, the billionaire founder of real estate and energy conglomerate Red Apple Group Inc, to Bloomberg. “Interest rates will remain low, equity markets will keep rising, and the economy will grow at less than 2 percent.”

Elsewhere, Sheldon Adelson, founder of Las Vegas Sands Corp, the world’s largest casino company, was the second-biggest gainer in 2013, adding $14.4 billion to his net worth as the company’s shares rose 71 percent.

The world’s biggest loser (in fortune) was former Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista, whose net worth declined more than $12 billion in 2013. His company OGX Petroleo & Gas Participacoes SA filed for bankruptcy in October last year, while Batista now has a negative net worth, according to the Bloomberg ranking.

There were 109 new billionaires in 2013, according to Bloomberg, all of whom have never appeared on an international wealth ranking. Lynsi Torres, the 31-year heiress to the In-N-Out Burger empire for instance was the youngest female billionaire in the U.S..

In Asia, Hong Kong property magnate Li Ka-Shing remained the continent’s richest man with a fortune of $30.2 billion. China’s richest person was Robin Li, founder of search engine Baidu Inc.

Related: Global Billionaire Population Hits New Record Thanks To Rapid Growth In Asia

Related: China’s Billionaire List Grow By 25 Percent

Bloomberg notes that the overall increase in billionaires’ fortunes was primarily due to soaring global stock prices, the best annual gain since 2009. The MSCI World Index advanced 24 percent during the year to close at 1,661.07, while the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index rose 30 percent to close at 1,848.36, its best yearly gain since 1997.

“Billionaires are asking what they should do with their money in 2014. Central banks will continue to be supportive, so equities will likely continue to rise during the year,” said Mark Haefele, Global Head of Investment for UBS AG’s wealth-management unit.
   

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