Courtesy of USA Today
Gates is co-founder of tech giant MIcrosoft, based in Redmond, Wash. He regained the title after Microsoft shares, up 28% so far this year, closed at a five-year high Thursday for the second time this week.
Gates has donated $28 billion of his fortune to the 14-year-old Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which he and his wife and fellow billionaire Warren Buffett operate as one of the world’s wealthiest philanthropic organizations.
Gates, 57, hasn’t been No. 1 on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index since 2007 and his fortune, valued at $72.7 billion, is up 15% year to date. Less than 25% of his fortune is held in shares of Microsoft, maker of Windows — the world’s dominant PC operating system.
Gates recaptured the honor from Mexican investor Carlos Slim, 73, who has watched the value of the shares of his America Movil decline 14% this year. America Movil is the largest cellphone carrier in the Americas and its stock price drop has slashed some $3 billion from the telecom tycoon’s net worth.
Mexico’s Congress recently approved a law aimed at deregulating the telecom industry that could force Slim to break up America Movil or charge lower rates in Mexico, where his company is the dominant carrier. He might see America Movil’s shares move even lower.
Famed investor Buffett is the world’s third-richest person with $59.7 billion, according to the Bloomberg ranking. Buffett, 82, is worth about $3.7 billion more than Amancio Ortega Gaona, Europe’s wealthiest person. Buffett is chairman and CEO of investing conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway, headquartered in Omaha, Neb.
Ortega, 77, is co-founder of the Spanish fashion apparel company Inditex group. Inditex’ most well-known brand is its Zara apparel-store chain, which recently joined other European retailers in a pact to improve safety and working conditions in Bangladesh after two back-to-back fatal garment factory disasters.
According to Bloomberg Business News, the net worth of individuals on its billionaires index is calculated and updated daily after financial markets close in the U.S.