Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

World's Rich Get a Tad Richer despite Economic Slowdown

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

World's Rich Get a Tad Richer despite Economic Slowdown

Article excerpt

NEW YORK (AP) _ The rich got a tad richer this year despite the global economic slowdown, Fortune Magazine reports in its annual tally of the wealthiest billionaires.

The list, which has 202 names this year vs. 182 last year, shows the average wealth of each entry rose to $2.7 billion from $2.6 billion in 1990.

The oil-rich Sultan of Brunei remains the wealthiest man for the fifth straight year with a $31 billion hoard, the magazine estimates. Britain's Queen Elizabeth II is the richest woman with $10.7 billion.

Still, the slowing world economy had an impact on the Fortune ranking, which appears in the business glossy's Sept. 9 editions that go on sale next Monday. Twenty-six names on the list last year were gone, supplanted by a surge of new arrivals.

Among the departures was Australian-born media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who dipped below the $1 billion mark when his business declined, forcing him to restructure debts and sell assets.

Declining stock values also deleted the name of Dallas takeover investor Harold Simmons, who capitulated in a fight for control of defense contractor Lockheed Corp. in March.

Newcomers to the Fortune list include the Gap clothing chain founders Donald and Doris Fisher with $1.9 billion and GAF Corp. owner and former federal prosecutor Samuel Heyman, with $1.5 billion.

Those who bucked the recession benefited. Sam Walton and family, the list's top American entry, ranked second overall with $21.1 billion thanks to a 31 percent boost in stock at Wal-Mart, the leading U.S. retail chain.

He was just one of 60 U.S. billionaires, which made the United States home to the greatest number on the list. Germany and Switzerland tied for second with 23 billionaires each, Britain was third with 14 and Japan fourth with 12.

The fifth annual Fortune ranking reads like a segment from television's "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. …

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