A Lot of People Became Billionaires Last Year

Vingroup chairman Phạm Nhật Vượng and Sovico Holdings chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Phương Thảo are featured in the Forbes world’s billionairs. — File

Vingroup chairman Phạm Nhật Vượng and Sovico Holdings chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Phương Thảo are featured in the Forbes world’s billionairs. — File

Forbes said the change in the number of billionaires (up 233 since the 2016 list) was the biggest in the 31 years that the magazine has been tracking the world's wealthiest people.

As a result, his position on the Forbes' ranking dropped 220 spots, leaving him tied with 19 others as the 544th richest person in the world.

Gates, the philanthropic co-founder of Microsoft Corp, was followed this year by Berkshire Hathaway Inc Chairman Warren Buffett at No. 2 and Amazon.com Inc founder Jeff Bezos at No. 3. Additionally, those who gained billionaire status exceeded those who lost it by three to one. This year Forbes ranked a record 2,043 billionaires. Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg was number five and Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison was number seven. Gates' net worth was estimated at $86 billion, up from $75 billion in 2016, Forbes said in a statement.

With a current market cap of $390 billion, the Seattle-based retail giant is now worth more than the top eight traditional brick-and-mortar retailers combined, as Credit Suisse analysts led by Eugene Klerk mentioned in a recent note, Yahoo Finance reported.

The US has the most billionaires with its 565, next comes China at 319, Germany is third with 114, and India with 101 takes fourth spot.

Tycoon John Gokongwei of the JG Summit group and family was second in the Philippines and 250th worldwide with $5.8 billion.

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The magazine also notes that he gave $66 million to his presidential campaign and paid $25 million to settle a lawsuit related to Trump University.

The number of women on the list rose to 227 from 202, giving them a collective net worth of $852.8bn.

But not all of the trends were negative for Mr Trump.

Trump tumbled more than 100 spots to No. 544 on the magazine's 31st annual list, largely because of the impact of the slumping NY real estate market on his holdings.

Rounding out the Forbes top 10, Amancio Ortega of Spanish apparel chain Zara was fourth; Mexican telecom tycoon Carlos Slim was sixth; the Koch brothers, U.S. conservative political activists Charles and David, were eighth and ninth; and former New York City mayor and Bloomberg News founder Michael Bloomberg was 10th. But the list also contained 15 new "self-made" women, mostly from Asian countries, including Vietnam's Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao of budget airline VietJet air.

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