Amancio Ortega moves up to third in Forbes list of world’s richest people

Despite crisis, number of Spaniards with wealth of over $1 billion increases to 20 from 16

Spanish billionaire Amancio Ortega, the founder and majority shareholder of leading fashion retailer Inditex, has moved up to third place in Forbes magazine’s 2013 list of the world’s richest men displacing legendary US investor Warren Buffet.

With a personal fortune estimated at 43.8 billion euros, Ortega moved up two places from last year’s list. The world’s richest man remains Mexican telecoms magnate Carlos Slim with 56.19 billion euros, followed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates with 51 billion.

There are 1,426 names on the Forbes list – 200 more than last year – with a combined fortune of $5.4 trillion. US citizens account for 442 of the names on the list and Asia and Europe 366, of whom 20 are Spaniards – four more than in 2012. The second-richest Spaniard on the list is Rosalía de Mera, co-founder of Inditex with former husband Ortega, who is in 195th position in the rankings with a net worth of 4.7 billion euros.

Buffet falls out of the top three for the first time since 2000 despite increasing his fortune by $9.5 billion to $53.5 billion. Ortega added 19.5 billion euros to his net worth over the past 12 months.

With a personal fortune estimated at 43.8 billion euros, Ortega moved up two places from last year’s list.

Forbes said the pick-up in the stock markets and the good performance of consumer companies saw 210 members joining the super-rich club of those with a net worth of over $1 billion. Four of these are Spaniards.

After Ortega and his former wife, the richest Spaniards include Juan Roig, the chairman of supermarket chain Mercadona, in 219th position with a net worth of 4.2 billion euros, and Isak Andic of the fashion retailer Mango, who is in 248th place with a personal fortune of 3.8 billion. The former owner of real estate company Fadesa, Manuel Jove, who sold out before the property bubble in Spain burst, and Daniel Maté, a director of Swiss commodity trading and mining company Glencore both tie for 527th position on the list with personal fortunes of 2.075 billion euros.

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