The world’s 400 richest people added US$92 billion this year to their wealth, which stood at US$4.1 trillion on Monday, the Bloomberg Billionaires Index shows.
The biggest gainer was Jack Ma Yun, co-founder of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., China’s biggest e-commerce firm.
Ma, who started the Hangzhou-based firm in his apartment in 1999, added US$25.1 billion to his fortune, riding a 56 percent surge in the company’s shares since its September initial public offering in New York.
He briefly passed Li Ka-shing as Asia’s richest person.
Two of the year’s other biggest gainers were Americans Warren Buffett and Mark Zuckerberg.
Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., added US$13.7 billion to his net worth after the Omaha, Nebraska-based firm’s share price soared 28 percent.
Buffett passed Mexican telecommunications billionaire Carlos Slim on Dec. 5 to become the world’s second-richest person.
Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft Corp., gained US$9.1 billion during the year. He remains the world’s richest person, with a US$87.6 billion fortune.
Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Facebook, gained US$10.6 billion as the world’s largest social networking firm’s share price rose to a record on Dec. 22.
China’s 10 richest people have gained almost US$48 billion combined in the year to date, Bloomberg reported.
Technology entrepreneurs Richard Liu Qiangdong of online retailer JD.com and Robin Li Yanhong of Baidu Inc. gained a combined US$8 billion.
The title of Asia’s richest person could be challenged by Wang Jianlin, whose Dalian Wanda Group Co. staged an initial public offering in Hong Kong of its commercial properties division this month.
An IPO for Wanda Cinema Line Co. is planned for early next year. Wang has a net worth of US$25.3 billion, gaining US$12.8 billion during the year.
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