Jeff Bezos tops Forbes's 'World Billionaires' list for the first time

Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani ranked among the world's 20 richest billionaires

Published: Mar 6, 2018

Starting out as a newswire journalist covering beats as diverse as business, politics, entertainment, crime, civic affairs, cricket and defence, I was keen to pursue a career in print or broadcast journalism. But the emerging world of multimedia storytelling promised a fascinating future, and I changed my focus to digital media more than a decade ago. Before Forbes India, I have worked for organisations such as ANI, Money Control, Arabian Business, Yahoo India and VFS Global. I hold master's degrees in Communication Studies (University of Pune, India) and Journalism (University of Westminster, London, UK).

g_103993_jeffbezos_bg_280x210.jpgAmazon’s founder and CEO Jeff Bezos
Image: Abhishek N. Chinnappa/ Reuters

With a net worth of $112 billion, Amazon’s founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has topped Forbes’s 2018 ‘World’s Billionaires’ list.

Owing to an increase of $39.2 billion in his wealth over 2017, the centi-billionaire seized the top spot for the first time, toppling Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, who has been the richest person in the world for 18 of the past 24 years.

The total combined net worth of this year’s billionaires was $ 9.1 trillion, up from $7.7 trillion last year, Forbes said in a statement on Tuesday. The average net worth of the world’s billionaires is $4.1 billion, it added.

As many as 119 Indians, have made it to the ‘The World’s Billionaires’ list, 18 of them newcomers. Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) chairman Mukesh Ambani (No. 19, $40.1 billion) was the top-ranked Indian in the list, followed by Azim Premji (No. 58, $18.8 billion), Lakshmi Mittal (No. 62, $18.5 billion), Shiv Nadar (No. 98, $14.6 billion) and Dilip Shanghvi (No. 115, $12.8 billion), to round off the top five Indian entries in the list.

The lowest-ranked (No. 2124) Indian billionaires include Raamdeo Agrawal, Tarang Jain, Nirmal Minda, and Ravindra Kishore Sinha, with a net worth of $1 billion each.  

According to Forbes, these values represent a snapshot of wealth based on stock prices and exchange rates from February 9, 2018. A record 2,208 billionaires made it to the list.

“The superrich continue to get richer, widening the gap between them and everyone else,” said Luisa Kroll and Kerry A. Dolan, Assistant Managing Editors of Wealth, at Forbes Media.

US president Donald Trump, worth $3.1 billion, ranked No. 766, falling from No. 544 in 2017. Trump’s fortune has fallen $400 million since the 2017 Billionaires list, due to partially fallings values of Midtown Manhattan real estate and declining revenues at several Trump golf properties. (Trump’s net worth remains the same as it did when Forbes valued him in October 2017, for the 2017 Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans.)

Indian jeweller Nirav Modi is among the drop-offs from the list, along with Papa John’s pizza founder John Schnatter, Christoffel Wiese of South Africa, and Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud.

Click here to view the full list: www.forbes.com/billionaires

(Reliance Industries is the owner of Network 18, publisher of Forbes India)

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