MICROSOFT CO-FOUNDER Bill Gates has once again been identified as the world's richest man, as his cash pile has grown larger than that of Mexican telecom mogul Carlos Slim.
With a reported net worth of $76bn, Gates has been placed back on top of the Forbes' Rich List for the first time in four years, surpassing the formerly richest Carlos Slim, who has a net worth of $72bn.
According to Forbes, Amancio Ortega, the Spanish founder of clothing conglomerate Inditex SA, ranked third at $64bn, and was closely followed by Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett at $52.8bn and Oracle CEO Larry Elllison in fifth place with a net worth of $48bn.
Forbes said that there are a record 1,645 billionaires, with Whatsapp CEO Jan Koum and Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg joining the list for the first time. Forbes said that only 10 percent of billionaires on the list are female.
As we reported back in January, the top 85 on Oxfam's rich list have accumulated as much wealth as 3.5 billion of the world's poorest.
Executive director of Oxfam International Jeremy Hobbs said, "Concentration of resources in the hands of the top one per cent depresses economic activity and makes life harder for everyone else - particularly those at the bottom of the economic ladder.
"In a world where even basic resources such as land and water are increasingly scarce, we cannot afford to concentrate assets in the hands of a few and leave the many to struggle over what's left."
However, despite being the world's richest man, it's hard to resent Bill Gates for his extreme wealth, since the technology advisor at Microsoft gives away a large proportion of his wealth to charity - and even gave one lucky Redditor a cow for Christmas. µ