Dangote, Adenuga make Forbes rich list

Dangote & Adenuga
Two Nigerian business giants, one a good friend of Ogun and the second, a son of Ogun– Alhaji Aliko Dangote and Dr. Mike Adenuga respectively– are among the world’s richest, according to the 2012 Rich List published by Forbes yesterday.

Dangote, 54, with vast interests in manufacturing, is ranked number 76 with a net worth of $11.2b.

Globacom boss Adenuga is ranked number 248 with a net worth of $4.3b.

This year, a record 1,226 billionaires made the list, with a combined net worth of $4.6 trillion, also a record. It is up from $4.5 trillion in 2011.

Innovation, strong consumer brands and a rebounding United States stock market helped produce 128 newcomers to this year’s list and brought 17 former members back into the billionaire ranks.

Falling stock markets, particularly in China and Russia, were mainly responsible for knocking out 117 individuals.

In addition, 12 members from the 2011 list passed away, including buyout titan Theodore Forstmann and Apple’s Steve Jobs, whose widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, takes his spot on the 2012 list.

Overall, 460 billionaires got richer, 441 got poorer and 180 held steady. This year’s billionaires come from 58 countries. The United States remains home to more billionaires than any other nation, with 425, a gain of 12.

But only three of the 10 richest, hail from the United States, one fewer than last year. Mainland China and Russia have 95 and 96, respectively, on the list, down from 115 and 101 last year.

The BRIC nations, which were such a force of wealth creation a year ago, have 26 fewer 10-figure fortunes, with only Brazil adding to its bounty.

Carlos Slim Helú of Mexico tops the ranks for the third consecutive year, but the gap between him and Bill Gates tightened. Slim’s fortune, at $69 billion, is down $5 billion from a year ago. He was one of seven in the top 20, including Warren Buffett and Larry Ellison, whose fortunes slipped.

Gates, whose foundation helped wipe out polio in India, was $5 billion richer, at $61 billion, thanks to the rising value of Microsoft (MSFT) shares. French businessman Bernard Arnault, remains in the number four spot this year.

Amancio Ortega, the man behind fashion chain Zara, moved into the top five for the first time. Lakshmi Mittal of India, who runs the world’s largest steel company, ArcelorMittal (MT), was the year’s biggest loser. His fortune plummeted by $10.4 billion, knocking him out of the top 10 for the first time since 2004.Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is worth $17.5 billion, up $4 billion from a year ago.

Zuckerberg is in line to move up in next year’s rankings, as Facebook is poised to go public this spring. Notable newcomers with stellar brands include Kevin Plank, founder of performance apparel maker Under Armour (UA), and Sara Blakely, with her Spanx line of shapewear.

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