Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
U.S. | By Monique Johnson

FORBES' 31st ANNUAL WORLD'S BILLIONAIRES ISSUE

FORBES' 31st ANNUAL WORLD'S BILLIONAIRES ISSUE

The number of billionaires in the world hit a record high previous year, with more than 2,000 people holding the distinction, Forbes revealed in its annual list of the world's billionaires released on Monday.

Bill Gates is the richest person on the planet for the fourth straight year, in what was a record year for billionaires and their fortunes, according to the annual list from Forbes magazine. Additionally, those who gained billionaire status exceeded those who lost it by three to one.

There were 183 tech billionaires on the Forbes list, with a combined $1tn in wealth.

President Donald Trump is the nation's first billionaire president - but he's not as rich as he used to be, according to the Forbes 2017 Billionaires List published Monday.

The number of USA billionaires on the list was 565, which Forbes attributed to the recent stock market surge since Mr Trump's November 2016 election.

With a net worth of $72.8 billion, Bezos is now the third richest billionaire in the world, behind Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates and Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett. Midtown Manhattan real estate is down; therefore, so is Donald Trump's fortune. "Lately, the neighbourhood has been struggling - relatively speaking".

Forbes also said Trump's wealth was hit by $66 million in political spending on his successful presidential campaign, as well as $25 million to settle litigation he allegedly ripped off students at Trump University.

The magazine put his net worth at $3.5 billion, down $1 billion from the rankings it issued a year ago.

In total 233 new billionaires joined the list, the largest number to join this elite club since rankings began in 1986.

The US president also would have missed the big stock market rally following his election, "assuming Trump sold off all of his stocks during last year's campaign, as he has claimed", the magazine said.

But not all of the trends were negative for Mr Trump.

Amancio Ortega: Ortega co-founded the hugely successful high street Spanish retail chain Zara, and now boasts a net worth of $74 billion.

Notable newcomers included Vietnam's first self-made woman billionaire, Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, who took her budget airline, VietJet Air, public in February 2017.

The total number of women on the list is 227, up from 202 in 2016.

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