Net Gain: $14.5 bln
Berkshire Hathaway’s huge 2014 pumped up Buffett’s net worth by 25 percent. Biggest deals: $4.7 billion buy of Duracell from Procter & Gamble and $3 billion financing of Burger King’s takeover of Tim Hortons.
Net Gain: $12.6 bln
A jump in the value of autoparts and tyremaker Continental AG and new financial information about ball-bearing maker Schaeffler AG fuelled the gain. He is now Germany’s richest man.
Net Gain: $9.7 bln
The Moroccan immigrant has spent more than $20 billion acquiring five competitors since taking his cable company, Altice, public in January 2014. Since then shares have jumped 169 percent, pushing Drahi into the top 60 richest only a year after he debuted on the list.China
Net Gain: $12.7 bln
Ma’s wealth soared after Alibaba, the Chinese ecommerce behe- moth he founded, had the largest IPO in history in September on the NYSE.China
Net Gain: $10.8 bln
The stock of Hong Kong-listed Hanergy Thin Film Power 84 rose over 300 percent in a year for no clear reason, raising questions from analysts. The company sells nearly all its solar panel equipment to its parent, Hanergy Group, also run by Li.China
Net Gain: $9.2 bln
His smartphone maker Xiaomi was valued by private investors in December at an eye-popping $45 billion, which pushed his net worth way up. Xiaomi is working to take market share from Apple by selling lower-priced smartphones.Images: WARREN BUFETT: CARLO ALLEGRI / REUTERS; PATRICK DRAHI: PHILIPPE WOJAZER / REUTERS; LI HEJUN: PICHI CHUANG / REUTERS; LEI JUN: JASON LEE / REUTERS
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(This story appears in the 17 April, 2015 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)