Gates richest American, 3 tech chiefs join top 10

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NEW YORK CITY: Microsoft founder Bill Gates retained his title as wealthiest American, while three founders of online companies joined the top 10, according to the Forbes 400 list released on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila).

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Gates held onto the number-one spot in the annual list of the 400 wealthiest Americans for the 22nd straight year, with net worth of $76 billion, down $5 billion from 2014.

Warren Buffett, the head of conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway, ranked second with $62 billion, while former Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison is third with $47.5 billion.

Forbes said the average net worth of the 400 members on the list stands at a record $5.8 billion, above the $5.7 billion last year. Total wealth is $2.34 trillion, up from $2.29 trillion in 2014.

Entering the top 10 richest rank this year were three founders of e-businesses. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos bolted from 15th to fourth place at $47 billion, thanks to the surging value of Amazon stock.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who jumped from 11th to seventh place, had net worth of $40.3 billion. And Larry Page, CEO of Google, moved from number 13 in 2014 to land the 10th spot, with $33.3 billion.

The business magazine also spotlighted Republican presidential contender Donald Trump, who has claimed wealth of at least $10 billion. Forbes came up with a lower figure, rating the billionaire in 121st place.

“After interviewing more than 80 sources and devoting unprecedented resources to valuing a single fortune, we’re going with a figure less than half that—$4.5 billion, albeit still the highest figure we’ve ever had for him,” Forbes said.

AFP

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