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Warren Buffett tops rich list

6th March 2008

US investor and philanthropist Warren Buffett has taken the title of the world's richest man away from his friend Bill Gates after 13 years.

Mr Buffett's wealth hit 62 billion dollars (£31.2bn) as the price of Berkshire Hathaway stock surged and he topped Forbes magazine's list of dollar billionaires.

For the first time, the Forbes' 2008 list revealed that more than 1,000 people made it in to the ultra-rich club which has a combined net worth of 4.4 trillion dollars (£2.2 trillion), with two-thirds classified as self-made.

Among the 1,125 people on this year's list, a record 50 people are under the age of 40.

These include the world's youngest billionaire, 23-year-old Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who ranked 785 with 1.5 billion dollars (£756m).

Microsoft founder Mr Gates, whose fortune rose to 58 billion dollars (£29.2bn), lost his top spot to Mr Buffet after 13 years and also missed out on second place to Mexican telecoms tycoon Carlos Slim Helu (60 billion dollars (£30.2bn)).

Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal was the UK's richest resident with 45 billion dollars (£22.7bn), putting him fourth on the list behind Mr Gates.

A total of 35 UK citizens are dollar billionaires, but the UK is home to 49, with 36 calling themselves Londoners.

The Duke of Westminster, Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, is the richest Briton, coming in 46th place with 14 billion dollars (£7.1bn). Other notable Britons include retailers Philip and Cristina Green in 107th with 8.4 billion dollars (£4.2bn) and Virgin boss Richard Branson in 236th place with 4.4 billion dollars (£2.2).

Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone and supermarket owner David Sainsbury are also represented, with 3.7 billion dollars (£1.9bn) and 1.7 billion dollars (£856m) respectively, while Harry Potter author JK Rowling is Britain's only woman on the list, coming in 1,062nd with one billion dollars (£504m).

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