Bill Gates was again the world's richest person in 2014, regaining the title taken from him over the past four years by Mexican mogul Carlos Slim, Forbes magazine reported Monday.
The Spanish entrepreneur Amancio Ortega, founder of the textile group Inditex, added $7 billion to his wealth and remains owner of the third-largest fortune on the planet, increasing his lead over U.S. investor Warren Buffett.
Gates, who has occupied No.1 position in the prestigious ranking during 15 of the last 20 years, has seen his fortune climb by $9 billion over the past 12 months to a sum of $76 billion, while Slim lost $1 billion and dropped into second place.
Slim, affected by a decline in the share price of mining company Frisco and telecom America Movil, is the only one of the world's 10 richest people whose wealth declined last year: it is now valued at $72 billion.
Ortega has a fortune estimated at $64 billion after another year of significant earnings.
Forbes notes that the Spanish entrepreneur, who owns close to 60 percent of Inditex shares, has profitably enlarged his real-estate holdings, taking advantage of a fall in prices during the financial crisis.
The American magazine estimates that Ortega possesses buildings worth $5 billion including high-end properties in Madrid, New York and London.
Following him on the richest of the rich list are Buffett, Larry Ellison, the brothers Charles and David Koch, and casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who is back in the top 10 after adding $11.5 billion to his wealth over the past year.
Cristy Walton, heir to the Walmart retail empire, is the richest woman in the world and in ninth place on the general list, followed closely by France's Liliane Bettencourt, one of the principal L'Oreal shareholders.
The magazine found a total of 1,645 people with more than $1 billion, whose combined riches are worth $6.4 trillion compared with last year's $5.4 trillion. EFE