Spain’s Amancio Ortega, the co-founder of the Inditex fashion group, leapt over Warren Buffett and France’s Bernard Arnault to become the world’s third richest person on Forbes’ 2013 annual ranking of billionaires, with an estimated net worth of $57 billion.
Ortega’s fortune increased $19.5 billion, the biggest gain for any of the billionaires, from the report in 2012. He jumped two places and bumped Buffett, chairman and chief executive of conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway Inc, with a fortune of $53.5 billion out of the top three to the No. 4 spot for the first time since 2000.
“Warren had a great year, it’s just that Amancio Ortega had a better year,” Forbes magazine editor Randall Lane said of the co-founder of Zara. “He has one of the dominant apparel lines in Europe.”
Arnault, of the LVMH luxury goods group, dropped to 10th place with $29 billion.
Slim, 73, made much of his fortune in telecommunications but also branched out into retail, commodities, finance and energy.
“To see Carlos Slim again broaden his lead and certify himself as the richest man in the world is a statement that wealth truly is global and not an American monopoly like it sometimes felt for many decades,” Lane added in an interview.
Dangote, 55, retains his position as Africa’s richest man for the third year in a row. The past year has been eventful for him. In October, he sold off a controlling stake in his flour milling company to Tiger Brands of South Africa. He pocketed $190 million in cash. In February, his Dangote Sugar Refineries acquired a 95 per cent stake in Nigerian sugar producer Savannah Sugar in a bid to maintain its dominant position in the Nigerian sugar industry. Dangote stepped up his philanthropy in the past year, giving over $100 million to causes ranging from education to health, flood relief, poverty alleviation and the arts. He also acquired a yacht, which he named after his mother Amiya.
The second Nigerian on the list is Otunba Mike Adenuga, who is 267th richest on earth, second in Nigeria and 5th in Africa.