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BRIC countries gain more billionaires

posted 9 Mar 2011, 15:53 by Mpelembe   [ updated 9 Mar 2011, 15:56 ]
Forbes magazine released its annual list of the the world's richest. The U.S. still holds the top spot for the country with the most billionaires, but a jump in billionaires in Brazil, Russia, India, and China is narrowing the gap.
USA-FORBES BILLIONAIRES LIST - The improving global economy has provided a significant boost to the rich all around the world.

Mexican telecom tycoon Carlos Slim, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and closely-watched investor Warren Buffett, round out the top three on the annual Forbes billionaire's list, as usual.

Forbes Chairman and Editor-in-Chief Steve Forbes.


"There are several surprises that really hit you this year- one was Carlos Slim - not that he was number one, but the enormous increase in his wealth - some $20 billion. You saw, too, in this the importance of social media: the one area you might say in the U.S. that was very dynamic was Facebook and other social media."

But it wasn't Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg who landed the cover. Russia's Yuri Milner has made a name for himself with early investments in social media paying off big as Wall Street's interest in the sector soars.

And the Russian billionaire is in good company. His hometown of Moscow had 79 billionaires - making it the city with the most billionaires in the all the world. New York had 58, helping the U.S. remain the country with the most billionaires.

But the wealth gap is narrowing in favor of the BRICs: Brazil, Russia, India, and China.


"In terms of the Asia-Pacific, the number increase of billionaires was almost 40 percent, huge increase in wealth. In terms of the BRICs, you saw Russia go from 62 billionaires to 101, Brazil from 18 to 30. And so what this underscores is that there is dynamism in the world economy but it's not in the United States and it's not in Western Europe."

And there were more billionaires than ever around the world - over 12-00. Their net worth rose 25 percent from the year before to a record $4-1/2 trillion.

Conway Gittens, Reuters