Carlos Slim Helu remained the world’s richest person, but Asia is where today’s big money is flowing, Forbes magazine said in its 2011 list of the world’s billionaires.
Slim, who is almost unknown to the general public outside Mexico, weighed in at a staggering $74 billion of net wealth thanks to his telecoms empire. Already the top dog last year, he increased his fortune by $20.5 billion dollars.
In a now familiar second place was Microsoft founder Bill Gates with $56 billion. The relatively lowly ranking reflected his enormous philanthropic give-aways over the year.
The New York Post picks up a Guardian report that embattled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak could be the richest man in the world.
Worth about $70 billion, the Post says most of his money is stashed in foreign bank accounts and “shadowy real-estate holdings.”
That sum makes Mubarak more wealthy than Mexico’s Carlos Slim and Bill Gates, whose fortunes clock in at $53.5 billion and $53 billion, respectively.
Luxury-brand awareness is growing among China’s super rich, who recognize 20% more of the lavish brands than they did last year, according to the Hurun Report.
The 2011 Best of The Best Survey, which interviewed 401 Chinese mainland millionaires, each with assets of more than 10 million yuan ($1.5 million), said the super rich in China are developing more sophisticated tastes in luxury products.
“Chinese entrepreneurs are getting more and more sophisticated, discerning and confident in their personal style, and what they aspire to, as they try to turn new money into old money,” said Rupert Hoogewerf, founder of the Hurun Report.
The Golden Nugget hotel in downtown Las Vegas is living up to its name with the installation of an ATM that dispenses gold instead of cash.
Visitors are now able to buy gold coins and 24-karat “bars” weighing from 1 gram to 1 ounce at the new Gold to Go machine.
Prices automatically adjust every 10 minutes to reflect actual market value. The one ounce coin, at the moment, goes for about $1,400.
Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich is reportedly flying in the Black Eyed Peas to perform at his New Year’s Eve party in St Bart’s, the Telegraph reports.
The Russian billionaire owns a $90 million, 70-acre estate on the Caribbean island and the hip hop band will perform for guests seeing in 2011 there.
His estate in St Bart’s, which is situated on a lush hillside, includes swimming pools, pavilions and bungalows with ocean views for guests.
Ukrainian billionaire Victor Pinchuk spent $6.2 million on Saturday night to entertain 300 guests at his 50th-birthday party in the posh French ski resort of Courchevel.
He not only flew in Canada’s Cirque du Soleil but also hired superchef Alain Ducasse to prepare the menu at one of Courchevel’s 11 five-star hotels.
But the steel magnate’s birthday blowout revolted many locals in an area tired of being a winter playground for the Eastern European jet set.