Washington – Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has regained the title of world’s richest person with a fortune valued at $72.7bn on Bloomberg’s billionaire index, Bloomberg news service reported on Thursday.
It is the first time the former Microsoft chief executive has held the title since 2007. He took the title away from Mexican telecommunications billionaire Carlos Slim.
The 57-year-old Gates’ net worth grew in recent weeks thanks to a rally on Wall Street. His fortune climb about $10bn this year, hitting a five-year high on Thursday when the stock market closed.
Slim, 73, owns a fortune valued at $72.1bn, according to Bloomberg, whose billionaires index is updated every day. It dropped more than $2bn this year after Mexico’s Congress passed a bill to end the market dominance of his America Movil.
The bill would allow regulators to break up phone companies with more than 50% of the market or force them to share their networks. America Movil has 70% of Mexico’s mobile-phone subscribers and 80% of the country’s landlines.
Gates has stakes in more than a dozen publicly traded companies, including the Four Seasons hotel chain, and several closely held operations, Bloomberg said. Less than a quarter of Gates’ fortune is held in Microsoft.
Gates has donated $28bn to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a charity working largely in poor countries to improve health and education.
The Forbes list of the world’s richest people is better known than the Bloomberg list. It was last published in March, and at the time Slim was number one, Gates was number two, Spanish fashion mogel Amancio Ortega and US financial wizard Warren Buffet was fourth.