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World's richest add $241 billion to collective net worth

Still No. 1: Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim, center, speaks with other guests at the inauguration of Mexico’s newly sworn-in President Enrique Peña Nieto at the National Palace in Mexico City on Dec. 1.

Associated Press

Still No. 1: Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim, center, speaks with other guests at the inauguration of Mexico’s newly sworn-in President Enrique Peña Nieto at the National Palace in Mexico City on Dec. 1.

NEW YORK — The richest people on the planet got even richer in 2012, adding $241 billion to their collective net worth, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a daily ranking of the world's 100 wealthiest individuals.

The aggregate net worth of the world's top moguls stood at $1.9 trillion at the market close Dec. 31, according to the index, as global stocks surged more than 13 percent last year. Of the 100 people who appeared on the final ranking of 2012, only 16 registered a net loss for the 12-month period.

Here are other highlights of the index:

• Amancio Ortega, 76, the Spaniard who founded retailer Inditex SA, was the year's biggest gainer. His fortune increased $22.2 billion, to $57.5 billion, as shares of Inditex, operator of the Zara clothing chain, rose 66.7 percent.

• Carlos Slim, 72, the telecommunications magnate who controls Mexico's America Movil SAB, maintained his title as the richest person on earth for the year. The 72-year-old's net worth rose $13.4 billion — or 21.6 percent — to $75.2 billion. He was also the second-biggest gainer by dollars.

• U.S. software mogul Bill Gates, 57, ranks second on the list, trailing Slim by $12.5 billion at $62.7 billion. The Microsoft co-founder added $7 billion to his net worth. Microsoft stock accounts for less than 20 percent of the billionaire's fortune.

• Warren Buffett, 82, lost his title as the world's third-richest man to Ortega on Aug. 6. The Berkshire Hathaway chairman gained $5.1 billion during the year to finish with a net worth of $47.9 billion, even after donating 22.3 million Berkshire Class B shares in July to charity.

• Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad, 86, is the world's fifth-richest person with a $42.9 billion fortune.

• Brazil's Eike Batista, 56, the year's biggest loser by dollars, lost $10.1 billion.

• Charles and David Koch of Koch Industries are each now worth $40.9 billion, up 20.9 percent — $7.1 billion — for the year.

• Retail fortunes rose 19.5 percent on average in 2012. Amazon.com chief executive Jeff Bezos, 48, added $6.9 billion to his net worth as shares of the world's largest online retailer rose 45 percent. The four heirs to the Wal-Mart Stores fortune — Jim Walton, Christy Walton, Alice Walton and Rob Walton — gained a combined $13.5 billion.

• Sheldon Adelson, gambling's richest man, gained $2.8 billion. The 79-year-old chairman of Las Vegas Sands Corp., which operates casinos in Macau, Singapore and the United States, received $1.2 billion in December when the company paid a special dividend of $2.75 per share.

• Lui Che Woo, founder of Galaxy Entertainment Group, was the biggest winner on the index by percentage gain. His fortune more than doubled to $11.9 billion.

• Asia's richest man, Li Ka-Shing, saw his fortune rise $6.4 billion. The 84-year-old chairman of Hong Kong property developer Cheung Kong Holdings Ltd. ranks 11th on the list with a net worth of $28.6 billion.

• Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, 28, lost $5.2 billion during the year after the company's shares fell 30 percent following its May initial public offering. He is now worth $12.3 billion.

World's richest add $241 billion to collective net worth 01/02/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 2, 2013 8:02pm]
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