NEW JERSEY – Forbes’ annual world’s billionaires list includes a record-breaking 2,755 billionaires, with Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos topping it for the fourth consecutive year, the media company said on Tuesday (April 6).
The ranks of the ultra-wealthy are expanding after a year in which the coronavirus pandemic upended world economies and threatened the livelihoods of people across the globe.
This year’s billionaires are worth a combined US$13.1 trillion (S$17.5 trillion), up from US$8 trillion last year, Forbes said.
“The very, very rich got very, very richer,” said Forbes’ Chief Content Officer Randall Lane, in an interview with Reuters Video News.
Bezos led with US$177 billion. Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk jumped into second spot on the list with US$151 billion, up from 31st spot last year.
Bernard Arnault, chief executive of luxury goods firm LVMH , Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg round out the top five of the world’s richest billionaires.
Investor and business tycoon Warren Buffett fell out of the top five for the first time in over two decades, as tech executives dominate the Forbes rankings. He came in at No. 6 with US$96 billion.
This year’s list has 493 newcomers, including Whitney Wolfe Herd, chief executive of dating app Bumble, which went public this year.
Asia-Pacific boasts the most billionaires, with 1,149, followed by the United States with 724 and Europe with 628.
Three Asian billionaires feature in the Top 20 of the list – Mukesh Ambani (No. 10, US$84.5 billion), Zhong Shanshan (No. 13, US$68.9 billion) and Ma Huateng (No. 15, US$65.8 billion).
From Singapore, Haidilao’s Zhang Yong took the 75th spot, with US$23 billion, paint tycoon Goh Cheng Liang (No. 80, US$21.7 billion), Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin (No. 140, US$14.6 billion), real estate siblings Robert and Philip Ng of Far East Organization (No. 158, US$13.3 billion), Forrest Li, founder and group chief executive of tech unicorn Sea (No. 177, US$12.4 billion).