The world's richest man is Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, leader of the oil-rich nation of Brunei, who lives with his two wives and nine children in a 1,788-room palace, complete with air conditioned stables, according to Fortune magazine's latest list.
The annual survey of the world's wealthy, released Wednesday, said the 42-year-old sultan, whose wealth comes from petroleum revenues, maintained his position as the richest man in the world with an estimated personal worth of $25 billion.The wealthiest Americans this year were the Mars family, owners of Mars Inc., makers of M&M candies, Kal Kan pet food and Uncle Ben's rice, who were third on the overall list. The secretive family, headed by Forrest E. Mars, 84, of Las Vegas, Nev., was said to be worth $12.5 billion.
The list showed that if the globe's 129 richest people combined their $320.6 billion, they could "finance the U.S. military for a year, even if hammers really did cost $435 apiece, and still have enough left over to wipe out the collective debt of Colombia and Ecuador."
Fifty-one of the 129 individuals and families making up the magazine's list are from the United States, 38 are from Europe, 19 from Asia, including 12 from Japan, 13 from the Middle East, and 8 from elsewhere in the world.
One notable newcomer to the list was New York real estate tycoon Donald Trump, 42, in the 91st postion with a reported wealth of $1.3 billion.
The sultan of Brunei was followed by King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz al Saud, of Saudi Arabia, with a personal wealth of $18 billion, the magazine said.
Queen Elizabeth II, the 62-year-old monarch of England, took the No. 4 position with wealth of $8.7 billion, including $30 million annually from tax-free foreign investments.