Mexican tycoon the world’s richest man

Carlos Slim, the telecommunications tycoon who controls Mexico’s America Movil, is the richest person on Earth, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a brand-new daily ranking of the world’s 20 wealthiest individuals.

US moguls Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are placed second and third on the list compiled by Bloomberg News. Brazil’s Eike Batista, who ranks 10th, still covets the top spot after vowing a year ago that he’d become the world’s wealthiest man by 2015.

The Bloomberg Billionaires Index takes measure of the world’s wealthiest people based on market and economic changes. Each net worth figure is updated every business day at 5.30pm in New York.

Slim’s fortune has increased 11% this year, according to the index. A spokesman for Slim was not available for comment.

Gates, 56, co-founder of Microsoft in Redmond, Washington, is worth $62.4bn, down $102.1m on Mar 2 and up 11% year to date.

The fortune of Buffett, 81, chairman of Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire Hathaway, declined $336.9m to $43.8bn on Mar 2 and is up 2.4% in 2012.

Almost all of Buffett’s wealth is held in Berkshire Hathaway, the publicly traded holding company he has run since 1965.

The combined net worth of the 20 richest people is $676.8bn.

Nine are Americans, including three from the family of Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart.

Mark Zuckerberg, the 27-year-old founder of Facebook, the world’s largest social-networking company, didn’t make the cut.

Based on a roughly $100bn valuation, Zuckerberg’s stake may be worth $21bn, or about 25% less than previous estimates, once Facebook holds its initial public offering.

Sweden’s Ingvar Kamprad is the richest European, according to the index, ranking fourth globally with a $42.5bn net worth.

Kamprad, 85, controls Ikea Group, the world’s largest furniture retailer.

Fifth on the list is Frenchman Bernard Arnault, head of the luxury goods retailer Louis Vuitton, with a net worth of $42.3bn.

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