'Alibaba founder Jack Ma biggest billionaire gainer of 2014'
New Delhi, Dec 17: Alibaba founder and executive chairman Jack Ma is this year's biggest financial gainer as the billionaire entrepreneur's fortune has swelled by a whopping USD 18.5 billion this year to USD 29.2 billion, a report says.
According to private wealth consultancy, Wealth-X, the former English teacher-turned billionaire entrepreneur is the biggest gainer of this year as his fortune increased 173 per cent, largely due to Alibaba's blockbuster IPO in September and the subsequent strong performance of the company's stock.
Meanwhile, the world's richest man, Bill Gates, saw his net worth grow by USD 10.5 billion in 2014 to reach USD 83.1 billion, earning him third place on the Wealth-X ranking of this year's biggest gainers.
The top five biggest gainers of this year also include, Mark Zuckerberg, ranked fourth on the list as his fortune rose by USD 8.4 billion to USD 33.1 billion, followed by telecommunications company Altice's founder Patrick Drahi whose fortune increased by USD 5.1 billion to USD 12.9 billion.
The individual who lost the most money this year is Russian energy tycoon Leonid Mikhelson. Mikhelson's fortune now stands at USD 10 billion, Wealth-X said. The biggest shareholder of natural gas producer Novatek lost USD 7 billion, or 41 per cent of his wealth, in 2014, due to the plummeting Russian currency, weak oil prices and economic sanctions imposed by the West over the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
The top five losers of 2014 include Masayoshi Son (CEO, Softbank) whose net worth eroded by USD 5.9 billion to USD 13.2 billion this year, followed by Lui Chee Woo who suffered a loss of USD 5.5 billion in his fortune which stood at USD 14.1 billion in 2014.
Amazon's Jeff Bezos' fortune eroded by USD 5.5 billion to USD 28.9 billion in 2014, while Sheldon Adelson lost USD 5.2 billion of his wealth which now stands at USD 30.1 billion, Wealth-X said.
Wealth-X is the world's leading ultra high net worth (UHNW) intelligence and prospecting firm with the largest collection of curated research on UHNW individuals, defined as those with net assets of USD 30 million and above.