(Bloomberg News) The 40 richest individuals on Earth lost a combined $6.2 billion yesterday as stocks dropped amid disappointing U.S. earnings, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a daily ranking of the wealthiest people.
Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal joined the index, which doubled the number of billionaires it tracks yesterday. Alwaleed's fortune has increased 18.2 percent, or $3.2 billion, this year, as shares of his Kingdom Holding Co., a diversified investment group that is planning to build the world's tallest tower, rose 36 percent. The 57-year-old ranks 24th on the index with a net worth of $20.5 billion.
"There is no secret to success," Alwaleed said in an e-mail sent from Saudi Arabia. "It is based on a sound investment strategy, commitment and long-term vision."
The Bloomberg Billionaires Index takes measure of the world's wealthiest people based on market and economic changes and Bloomberg News reporting. Each net worth figure is updated every business day at 5:30 p.m. in New York. The valuations are listed in U.S. dollars.
The expanded list was published with the release of new billionaires profile pages in the Bloomberg Professional service. The profiles feature a transparent analysis of how each billionaire's fortune was calculated.
Alwaleed's fortune makes him richer than Google Inc. co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Page ranks in 29th place with $18.9 billion, while Brin ranks 32nd on the list compiled by Bloomberg News. He is worth $18.7 billion.
The combined wealth of the index is $1.1 trillion. The 40 billionaires have gained a combined $88.2 billion since the beginning of the year.
Mexican telecommunications magnate Carlos Slim, 72, remains the richest person in the world, with a fortune of $68.8 billion, down $572.3 million for the day. Second is Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates, 56, with $62.7 billion, followed by Warren Buffett, who's worth $44.6 billion.
Buffett, 81, the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., said in an April 17 letter to investors that he has been diagnosed with stage 1 prostate cancer that is "not remotely life threatening."
Mark Zuckerberg, the 27-year-old founder of Facebook Inc., the world's largest social-networking company, is 25th on the ranking. Based on a roughly $100 billion valuation the Menlo Park, California-based company was trading at in the private market when it ceased trading April 3, Zuckerberg may be worth $20.5 billion, or about 25 percent less than previous estimates, once Facebook holds its initial public offering.
The reason: Facebook will issue more than 500 million shares of its Class B stock at the offering, diluting Zuckerberg's ownership to 21 percent after he exercises 120 million options and sells about 42 million shares to cover the tax bill associated with the gain from those options.
Lee Shau Kee, who has said he would swap 99 percent of his wealth for 30 years of time, ranks 26th in the world and second in Hong Kong with a net worth of $19.8 billion. Lee, 84, has gained $2.6 billion this year after shares of Henderson Land Development Co., the developer he founded, rose 17 percent.
Cheng Yu Tung, the third-richest person in Hong Kong, has a net worth of $18.8 billion. The owner of Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd. and property company New World Development Co. Ltd., 60, is ranked 30th in the world. His net worth is down 6.2 percent so far this year.
Lakshmi Mittal, the India-born chairman of ArcelorMittal, the world's biggest steelmaker, is in 28th place with $19 billion. In addition to his 41 percent stake in ArcelorMittal, the 61-year-old London resident owns hundreds of millions of dollars in U.K. real estate.
Gina Rinehart, the Australian mining heiress, is worth $18.7 billion, putting her in 31st place on the index. Rinehart, 58, the daughter of the man who discovered the mines that made Australia the world's biggest iron ore exporter, owns perpetual royalty rights to some of Rio Tinto Ltd.'s Hamersley mines in addition to other iron-ore and thermal coal deposits throughout the country.
Three of her four children have taken legal action in an effort to remove her as guardian of the family trust. Last month, she lost a bid to keep details of the family litigation private. Newly released documents indicate her four children may have a stake worth as much as $4.7 billion in the trust.
Li Ka-shing, 83, ranks as the richest person in Asia with a net worth of $23.9 billion.
Usmanov Tops Akhmetov
Ukrainian tycoon Rinat Akhmetov, 45, ranks 36th. His $18 billion fortune is derived from closely held metallurgy, mining and energy holdings owned through System Capital Management JSC. In government auctions held between November 2011 and March 2012, Akhmetov's DTEK Holdings Ltd. acquired control of significant Ukrainian state coal and energy assets at prices that helped push up his net worth up by more than $3.5 billion since the auctions began.
Alisher Usmanov, the 58-year-old Muscovite who controls the Metalloinvest metals and mining company and Digital Sky Technologies, became Russia's richest person after lucrative technology investments in Facebook, Groupon and Zynga pushed his fortune to $19 billion, up $1.6 billion this year.
The second wealthiest person in Russia is Gennady Timchenko, who controls a portfolio of international energy and oil trading assets, the largest of which is a 45 percent stake in Gunvor Group Ltd. Timchenko, worth $17.9 billion, became acquainted with Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin in the early 1990s when Putin was serving as deputy mayor of St. Petersburg -- and as chairman of a judo club Timchenko founded.
Michele Ferrero, who owns the closely held Ferrero SpA chocolate empire, is Italy's richest citizen with $21.9 billion. Since 1949, he has been the family leader of the global chocolate and confectionery company that makes Nutella, Tic Tac and Ferrero Rocher.
Alberto Bailleres, the second-richest man in Mexico behind Slim, is worth $18.5 billion. His net worth has soared $1.3 billion this year. While his most-valuable asset, Industrias Penoles SAB, Mexico's largest silver producer and a miner of gold, has only gained 1 percent in 2012, Bailleres, 80, has benefited from a strengthening currency. The Mexican peso is the best performer among major currencies this year, up 5.7 percent against the dollar.
Iris Fontbona, the matriarch of Chile's richest family, ranks 34th. Fontbona, her three children and two heirs from the late Andronico Luksic's previous marriage, control a combined fortune of $18.4 billion. The family owns copper producer Antofagasta Plc and, through holding company Quinenco SA, interests in banking, beer and shipping.
Jorge Paulo Lemann is the second-richest man in Brazil with a net worth of $15.9 billion. He ranks last on the ranking.
The 72-year-old tripled his latest investment after he and his partners at 3G Capital Inc. sold a 29 percent stake in Burger King Holdings Inc. this month for $1.4 billion, valuing the fast-food chain at $4.8 billion. As part of their 2010 leveraged buyout, 3G put up $1.5 billion in equity and loaded at least $2.5 billion of debt onto the company's balance sheet.
Carl Icahn didn't make the cut. The activist investor, 76, has a net worth of $15.6 billion based mostly on his stakes in Icahn Holdings, a hedge fund he closed to outside investors in 2011, and publicly traded Icahn Enterprises LP.
Icahn last week sued Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc., in which he is the third-largest shareholder, demanding records related to a $3.5 billion takeover offer by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. as he seeks to start a proxy fight against Amylin's board.
Ricardo Salinas, 56, also fell short. His stake in Grupo Elektra SA plunged 25 percent in the past week, leaving him with a net worth of $15.8 billion. The retail and banking conglomerate posted its biggest two-day drop since at least 1994 as new Mexican stock-exchange rules threaten to cut the company's weight in the benchmark index.