World’s richest Mexican shoots down Bill Gates

Bill Gates is unlikely to be crying into his gold-plated mug, but he has been beaten out of his place as the world’s richest man, according to the 2010 Forbes list of the world’s billionaires.

The Microsoft founder has been beaten into second place by the Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim Helu, who owns various telecom businesses such as Latin America’s biggest mobile company American Movil.

Slim came in third place last year, and made his fortune by taking advantage of Mexico’s national telephone company privatisation, with his net worth increasing by $18.5 billion in the space of a year.

Gates, who has held the title of world’s richest for 14 of the last 15 years, is second in the world, even though his $53 billion worth is up $13 from a year ago due to a 50 percent raise in a Microsoft shares.

Investor Warren Buffett was third with $43 billion. Larry Ellison of Oracle came in 6th with a net worth of $28 billion, with shares going up 70% in the last year. Oracle has bought 57 companies in the past five years, including the buyout of Sun Microsystems.

Sergey Brin and Larry Page of Google each had net worths of $17.5 billion to be in 24th place, though if you combined their worths would been in 4th place. Also, they were much younger at 36 and 37 than the large majority of people in the top 30, who are of pensionable age.

The past year has seen Google on a hot streak, according to Forbes, with the Google fortunes up $5.5 billion and Google shares going up 70 percent in the past year.

The other big figure at Microsoft, its CEO Steve Ballmer, came in at number 33 with a net worth of $14.5 billion.