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World’s Richest Lose $3.7 Billion as Slim’s Fortune Drops

The 40 richest people on the planet lost a combined $3.7 billion this week as global stocks declined.

The biggest loser was Carlos Slim, who dropped $1.7 billion. Shares of the telecommunications mogul’s Mexico City-based America Movil SAB fell 2.2 percent during the week. Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. cut recommendations on Brazil mobile phone carriers on Wednesday.

Slim, 72, remains the world’s richest man with a net worth of $73 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

“I don’t think you can read too much into the market activity since last week,” said Brian Wieser, a senior analyst at Pivotal Research Group LLC in Portland, Oregon. “Volumes were light and there really was an absence of meaningful news flow.”

U.S. stocks rose yesterday, paring the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index’s first weekly decline in almost two months, as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the central bank has the ability to take additional steps to boost the economy.

The S&P 500 fell 0.5 percent during the week to close at 1411.13 in New York. The index has climbed 10 percent since June 1 amid optimism that global central banks will take actions to stimulate growth. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped 1.8 percent during the week, closing at 268.00.

Adelson Wins

Casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson, 79, gained $517 million during the week. Shares of his Nevada-based Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS) rose 3.5 percent on Aug. 20 after Sterne Agee & Leach Inc. analyst David Bain said the company’s Macau casinos may post record revenue in August.

Bill Gates, 56, is the world’s second richest person with a $63.6 billion fortune. The Microsoft co-founder lost $576 million during the week as the world’s largest software company’s shares dipped 1.1 percent.

Amancio Ortega, Europe’s richest man, has a fortune valued at $45.6 billion, according to the index. The 76-year-old retailer made $561 million during the week as his Inditex SA (ITX), the world’s largest clothing retailer, rose 0.14 percent.

Ortega has been jostling with Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A) chairman Warren Buffett for the title of world’s third-richest man. Ortega bumped Buffett, 81, from the No. 3 spot on the index on Aug. 6, after shares of Inditex surged. Buffett, who is worth $45.8 billion, reclaimed the position Aug. 10.

The Bloomberg Billionaires Index takes measure of the world’s wealthiest people based on market and economic changes and Bloomberg News reporting. Each net worth figure is updated every business day at 5:30 p.m. in New York and is listed in U.S. dollars.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brendan Coffey in Boston at bcoffey10@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Matthew G. Miller at mmiller144@bloomberg.net

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