2015 Forbes Billionaires List – 5 Nigerians Make The Cut

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Bill Gates is
once again the richest person on the planet, a title he’s held for 16 of the
past 21 years. His fortune grew $3.2 billion since last year to $79.2 billion,
despite a gift of $1.5 billion in Microsoft MSFT -0.47% shares
to The Bill &Melinda Gates Foundation
in November 2014.
Carlos Slim Helu of Mexico comes in again at No. 2 while
revered American investor Warren
Buffett took
back the No. 3 spot from Spain’s Amancio Ortega (now
No. 4); not even the largest IPO in history was enough to beat the Oracle of
Omaha this year. Buffett was the list’s biggest gainer, up $14.5 billion to
$72.7 billion, thanks to Berkshire Hathaway’s rising share price.

 

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg moves up 5 spots to number 16,
his first time ranked among the world’s 20 richest. Ma and three other Chinese
are among the biggest gainers and appear among the 50 richest on the list. Zuckerberg
is also the leader in a youth revolution that has minted 46 billionaires under
the age of 40.
The youngest billionaire on the planet is Evan Spiegel, 24,
co-founder of photo- messaging app Snapchat. California, driven by Silicon
Valley tech companies, has spawned 23 new billionaires, including cofounders of
car-hailing service Uber cofounders Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp, and their
first employee Ryan Graves. Elizabeth Holmes, who runs blood-testing firm
Theranos, debuts on the global list as the youngest self-made woman at age 31.
The state now has 131 individuals with 10-figure net worths, more than any
other country besides China and the U.S.
The year’s biggest loser in dollar terms is Aliko Dangote of
Nigeria, whose fortune dropped to $14.7 billion from $25 billion last year,
propelled downward by a weaker Nigerian currency and shrinking demand for
cement, his largest asset. He still retains the title of Africa’s richest man.
The country that was lost the most ground by far was Russia, which now has 88
billionaires down from 111, less than not just the U.S. and China but now also
Germany and India.
One hundred thirty-eight people from the 2014 list dropped
out of the ranks altogether including fashion designer Michael Kors, Ukrainian
President Petro Poroshenko, Zulily’s Mark Vadon and many Russians. Guatemala
has a billionaire for the first time, and Iceland returns to the ranks after a
five-year absence, the result of a comeback by Thor Bjorgolfsson, who’s now the
only billionaire in Iceland’s history.
Mike Adenuga, Folorunsho Alakija, Femi Otedola and Abdulsamad
Rabiu also made the list.

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