World’s Wealthiest Gain $31 Billion as Slim Preps for TV

The 100 wealthiest people on the planet added $30.5 billion to their collective net worth this week as stocks and bonds rose and commodities tumbled.

One of the week’s biggest winners by percentage was Vladimir Lisin. The 56-year-old chairman of OAO Novolipetsk Steel, Russia’s most valuable steelmaker, gained 8.9 percent -- $1.1 billion -- as the company’s shares surged. He has a $13.4 fortune, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

“It’s a double whammy, a double benefit this week, with very stable fixed income and higher equities,” said Russ Certo, a managing director at Brean Capital LLC in New York. “Those with wealth have a higher percentage of equity versus commodities and foreign exchange exposure. Commodities were significantly lower this week.”

Gold futures traded below $1,500 for the first time since 2011, amid speculation Cyprus will sell reserves to raise cash. The head of Cyprus’s central bank said the government is attacking his institution’s independence and doesn’t have the right to sell the nation’s gold reserves without the central bank’s consent. Cyprus is finalizing a 17-billion-euro ($22.3 billion) bailout agreement that will shrink its banking sector and tax deposits of more than 100,000 euros.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 2.29 percent during the week to close at 1588.85 in New York. The S&P/GSCI Index, a gauge of commodities, tumbled 1.3 percent to it lowest level since July.

Slim, Gates

Mexican telecommunications magnate Carlos Slim remains the world’s richest person. He’s preparing a push into Mexico’s television market to take advantage of new telecommunications legislation, even as the changes threaten his dominance in the phone business. He is worth $74.5 billion, up $2.6 billion for the week, according to the Bloomberg ranking.

While Slim’s wireless carrier, America Movil (AMXL) SAB, is one of the chief targets of a bill to create more competition in Mexico, proposals to give consumers more options in cable and satellite TV will benefit the company, Chief Financial Officer Carlos Garcia-Moreno said last month. The bill is under Senate review after passing the lower house of Congress in March.

The largest wireless carrier in the Americas by subscribers rose 3.1 percent, while Slim’s bank, Grupo Financiero Inbursa SAB, gained 5.7 percent.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, 57, is No. 2 in the world with a net worth of $69 billion. Gates, who has donated $28 billion to his charitable foundation, gave some simple advice this week to Australia’s richest man Andrew Forrest on his crusade to end modern slavery: find a metric to quantify it.

Buffett, Ortega

“Global modern slavery is hard to measure and Bill’s a measure kind of guy,” Forrest, 51, the founder of iron ore producer Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. who formed the Walk Free anti-slavery charity last year, said in a phone interview. In McKinsey & Co. “management speak, if you can’t measure it, it doesn’t exist,” he said.

Warren Buffett, 82, is the world’s third-richest person. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A), the company he has run for more than four decades, gained 2.7 percent. His has a $57.3 billion fortune.

Spanish retail tycoon Amancio Ortega, is $1.8 billion behind behind Buffett. The 76-year-old founder of the Zara clothing chain has seen his wealth decline amid fresh concern that Spain’s recession will hurt sales for his Inditex SA (ITX) holding company. From a record high on Jan. 2, the shares have slumped 8.1 percent. He’s worth $55.4 billion, down $2.1 billion for the year.

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 listed in U.S. dollars.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gillian Wee in New York at gwee3@bloomberg.net

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

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