Rocky Vega

Forbes has revealed its annual list of top billionaires and big gains have been made in Asia. China, for the first time ever, has the most billionaires outside the US when Hong Kong is included.

Notably, a decline in the number and wealth of US billionaires is continuing. The total number of US billionaires is down to 40 percent from 45 percent last year. Also, this year’s number one, worth $53.5 billion, is Mexican telecom and conglomerate business owner Carlos Slim. Though, as would be expected, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett follow.

From the BBC:

“According to Forbes, the world now has 1,011 billionaires.

“The country with the biggest concentration is the US, with 403. But China comes second with 64 living in the mainland. That figure jumps to 89 if Hong Kong is included. The former British colony was returned to China in 1997, but largely governs its own affairs.

“On Forbes’ list of billionaires there are a total of 97 new additions – and 27 of those are from mainland China. They include people such as Li Shufu, who is chairman of Geely, a car-maker that is currently poised to buy Sweden’s Volvo.

“The richest man in China, Zong Qinghou, runs a multi-billion-dollar firm, the Wahaha Group, that makes soft drinks.”

After China, the country with the next highest number of billionaires on the list is Russia. The BRICs are indeed making their presence known.

You can view a slideshow of the world’s richest people at Forbes, and read more about China’s impressive showing in BBC coverage of how the number of Chinese billionaires is second only to the US.

Best,

Rocky Vega,
The Daily Reckoning

Rocky Vega

Rocky Vega is publisher of Agora Financial International, where he advances the growth of Agora Financial publishing enterprises outside of the US. Previously, he was publisher of The Daily Reckoning, and founding publisher of both UrbanTurf and RFID Update -- which he ran from Brazil, Chile, and Puerto Rico -- as well as associate publisher of FierceFinance. Rocky has an honors MS from the Stockholm School of Economics and an honors BA from Harvard University, where he served on the board of directors for Let?s Go Publications, Harvard Student Agencies, and The Harvard Advocate.

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