13 Mar 2010

Graeme Hart still Australasia's richest person

9:56 am on 13 March 2010

New Zealander Graeme Hart has retained his place as Australasia's richest man in the Forbes magazine billionaires list.

However, Mr Hart, whose net worth is $US5.3 billion, has dropped 43 places to rank 144th on the magazine's list.

He shares the ranking with three others - including fashion designer Giorgio Armani.

Mexican telco giant Carlos Slim has taken top spot in Forbes magazine's billionaire's list - the first time since 1994 that an American has not led the rankings.

Mr Slim's $US53.5 billion fortune beat Microsoft founder Bill Gates into second place, with US investor Warren Buffett third.

In 2009, 332 names left the list after a tough year, but the total number of billionaires on this year's list rose from 793 to 1011.

The list suggests that the West is losing ground to Asia, where most new billionaires have emerged.