1. Carlos Slim Helu (£35.7bn)
Tycoon who pounced on privatisation of Mexico's national telephone company in the 1990s becomes world's richest person for first time after coming in third place last year.
2. Bill Gates (£35.4bn)
More than 60% of fortune held outside Microsoft including Four Seasons hotels, Televisa, Auto Nation.
3. Warren Buffett (£31.3bn)
Shrewdly invested £3.3bn in Goldman Sachs and £2bn in General Electric amid 2008 market collapse.
4. Mukesh Ambani (£19.3bn)
Petrochemicals, oil and gas, India
His Reliance Industries, India's most valuable company, bid £1.3bn for 65% stake in troubled Canadian oil sands outfit Value Creations.
5. Lakshmi Mittal (£19.1bn)
London's richest resident oversees ArcelorMittal, world's largest steel maker. Net profits fell 75% in 2009. Mittal took 12% pay cut but improved outlook pushed stock up one-third.
6. Lawrence Ellison (£18.7bn)
Database giant has bought 57 companies in the past five years. Completed £5bn buyout of Sun Microsystems in January.
7. Bernard Arnault (£18.3bn)
Luxury goods, France
The richest European thanks to shares of his luxury goods outfit LVMH - maker of Louis Vuitton, Moet & Chandon - surging 57%.
8. Eike Batista (£18.2bn)
Mining, oil, Brazil
This year's biggest gainer added £13bn to his personal balance sheet. Son of Brazil's revered former mining minister got his start in gold trading and mining.
9. Amancio Ortega (£16.6bn)
Fashion retail, Spain
Owns Inditex; fashion firm, which operates under brand names including Zara, Massimo Dutti and Stradivarius. It has 4,500 stores in 73 countries.
10. Karl Albrecht (£15.7bn)
Owns discount supermarket giant Aldi Sud, one of Germany's (and Europe's) largest stores. Estimated sales: £24.7bn.
|FORBES RICH LIST: T0P 100 BILLIONAIRES 2010... [continues]
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