Trump slips in billionaire ranking in turbulent year

Trump slips in billionaire ranking in turbulent year

New York - Donald Trump may be the Republican frontrunner for the White House, but he is slipping behind in the world billionaires race, Forbes magazine's new list of the planet's richest people shows.

Trump, who has made his enormous wealth a key selling point in his presidential bid, came in 324th in the magazine's 2016 ranking of the world's billionaires, which was published Tuesday.

That means that more than 200 billionaires have jumped ahead of the ever competitive real estate mogul since 2015 when he placed 121st on the annual list.

The magazine put Trump's net worth at an above average US$4.5 billion (S$6.31 billion), the same as last year but about half the US$10 billion fortune candidate Trump often claims to have amassed.

In other highlights, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is still ranked the world's richest person with an estimated net worth of US$75 billion, US$4.2 billion less than last year.

Among Asian billionaires, real estate tycoon Wang Jianlin was the highest-ranked at 18th, with a net worth of US$28.7 billion. He was just ahead of Hong Kong business magnate Li Ka-shing, who was 20th, while Alibaba founder Jack Ma was 33rd on the list.

Brothers Phillip and Robert Ng, whose family controls the Far East Organisation, were the top-ranked Singapore billionaires at number 151. However, their combined net worth of US$7.6 billion was lower than the US$8.7 billion last year.

Meanwhile, property tycoon Robert Kuok was Malaysia's richest, coming in at 103 on the list with a net worth of US$10 billion.

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg had the best year of all, adding US$11.2 billion to his fortune.

Forbes put the 31-year-old's net worth at US$44.6 billion, ranking him number six, just behind Amazon's Jeff Bezos (US$45.2 billion). It was the first time either of them made the top ten.

It hasn't been a banner year for billionaires, however.

According to Forbes, their number has slipped to 1,810, 16 fewer than last year, and their aggregate net worth shrank by US$570 billion to $6.48 trillion.

This is also the first year since 2010 that the average individual billionaire's fortune has dropped, settling at US$3.6 billion, US$300 million less than last year, it said.

A volatile stock market, cratering oil prices and the strong dollar have reshuffled the ranks of billionaires, the magazine said.

Only two held on to their previous year's rank - Gates, who has been number one for three straight years, and investor Warren Buffet, whose US$60.8 billion fortune put him in third place.

Mexico's telecoms magnate Carlos Slim slipped to fourth place, giving up second to retailer Amancio Ortega of Spain ($67 billion). Slim's fortune plunged from US$77.1 to US$50 billion.

Forbes said 221 people fell off the list altogether, replaced by 198 newcomers.

The youngest billionaire was 19-year-old Danish heiress Alexandra Andresen. Her 20-year-old sister Katharina is the second youngest on the list.

In all, 66 billionaires are under 40 years of age. The richest of the 190 women on the list was Liliane Bettencourt of France who was ranked 11th with US$36.1 billion, down from US$40.1 billion last year.

The United States is still the country with the most billionaires (540), followed by mainland China (251) and Germany (120).

Russia has 77 billionaires, Hong Kong 69, and Brazil 23, down from 31 last year.

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