Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Stock Swoon Cuts Lead of Richest Man

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Stock Swoon Cuts Lead of Richest Man

Article excerpt

NEW YORK (AP) -- Even though his personal fortune shrank by a third this past year, the $60 billion bankroll of Microsoft co- founder Bill Gates still makes him the world's richest man, according to Forbes magazine's rankings.

The gap between Gates and his challengers is narrowing, however, thanks to the booms and busts of the high-tech world he helped create.

The world's billionaires' club expanded this year to 470, pushing the combined wealth of the richest 200 working people in the world upward of $1.1 trillion -- five more people and a $100 billion change from 1999, the magazine reported Thursday. The rankings appear in the July 3 issue of Forbes, which reaches newsstands today.

The 14th annual list of the working rich ranks Oracle founder Larry Ellison as the world's second-richest man with $47 billion, followed by Microsoft co-founder, Paul Allen at $28 billion. Last year, Ellison ranked No. 30 on the list with $9.5 billion.

That's a much tighter margin between the top two spots -- about $13 billion -- than a year ago, when Gates' $90 billion personal fortune trumped No. 2 Warren Buffett's $36 billion. This year, Buffett fell to fourth place with $28 billion.

There was a three-way tie for the No. 5 spot: German retailers Theo and Karl Albrecht; Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud of Saudi Arabia, a global investor; and S. Robson Walton, whose family started Wal-Mart, at $20 billion each. Several other Walton heirs also are billionaires but are not included in the working rich list because they are no longer active in the business.

Japanese software magnate Masayoshi Son ranked No. 8 with $19.4 billion, well below his $68.5 billion peak reached in mid-February. The wealth figures were estimated on the basis of share prices and foreign exchange rates as of May 22, following Wall Street's sharp retreat from record heights.

In the case of fortunes from privately held businesses, Forbes estimated what the companies would be worth if they were publicly traded. …

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