Bill Gates Retakes World’s Richest Title From Carlos Slim

Bill Gates Retakes World’s Richest Title From Carlos Slim

Bill Gates is once again the world’s richest person.

The 57-year-old co-founder of Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) recaptured the title from Mexican investor Carlos Slim yesterday, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, as the software maker hit a five-year high. It is the first time Gates has held the mantle since 2007. His fortune is valued at $72.7 billion, up 16 percent year-to-date.

Slim’s America Movil (AMXL) SAB, the largest mobile-phone operator in the Americas, has dropped 14 percent this year after Mexico’s Congress passed a bill that could quash the billionaire’s market dominance. That’s helped erase more than $3 billion from the 73-year-old tycoon’s net worth.

“When they’re talking about reform in a country that’s generally poor, and the guy shows up No. 1 on the list — not a good thing,” said Greg Lesko, managing director at New York-based Deltec Asset Management LLC, which oversees $750 million and has an “underweight” position in Slim’s flagship company. “He’s had a pretty good monopoly situation in Mexico, and the Mexican cellphone user has been paying more than he should. We applaud it for the country.”Earlier this month, a group of kazoo-playing protesters confronted Slim when he appeared at an event at the New York Public Library, denouncing him for overcharging consumers to enrich himself. He denies the accusation.

Microsoft Rally

The bill passed by in Mexico last month, which is backed by President Enrique Pena Nieto and is now before state legislatures, would allow regulators to break up phone companies with more than 50 percent of the market or force them to share their networks. America Movil (AMXL) has 70 percent of Mexico’s mobile-phone subscribers and 80 percent of the country’s landlines.

Microsoft shares have surged 28 percent this year, buoyed by cost controls and sales of business and server software amid weak demand for personal computers running the new Windows 8 operating system. Gates’s fortune has also benefited from a rally in stock holdings that include the Canadian National Railway Co (CNR). and waste-collection company Republic Services Inc (RSG).

Most of Gates’s fortune is held in Cascade Investment LLC, a holding entity through which he owns stakes in more than a dozen publicly traded companies and several closely held operations, including Four Seasons hotels and Corbis Corp. Less than a quarter of Gates’s fortune is held in Microsoft. He’s donated $28 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Bridgitt Arnold, a spokeswoman for Gates, didn’t return a phone call seeking comment. Arturo Elias, Slim’s spokesman, didn’t return phone and e-mail messages.

Buffett, Ortega

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. chairman Warren Buffett is the world’s third-richest person with $59.7 billion, according to the Bloomberg ranking. He is $3.7 billion ahead of Spaniard Amancio Ortega, Europe’s wealthiest person.

Google Inc. co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have seen their fortunes rise more than 22 percent year-to-date as shares of world’s most popular search provider have surged. They rank No. 18 and No. 19 respectively.

The Bloomberg Billionaires Index takes measure of the world’s wealthiest people based on market and economic changes and Bloomberg News reporting. Each net worth figure is updated every business day at 5:30 p.m. in New York and listed in U.S. dollars.

To contact the reporters on this story: Alex Cuadros in Sao Paulo at acuadros@bloomberg.net; Crayton Harrison in New York at tharrison5@bloomberg.net

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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