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Sunday, 22 April, 2001, 08:42 GMT 09:42 UK
Gates 'no longer world's richest man'
Asda Walmart
Walmart is now the parent company of UK chain Asda
Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates has been superseded by a supermarket tycoon for the title of the world's richest man, according to the Sunday Times Rich List.

Robson Walton, owner of supermarket chains Wal-Mart and Asda, has amassed a fortune worth 45.3bn - 8bn more than Gates.

Gates' fall from the top spot is accredited by the paper on the fall in technology stocks, which has hit Microsoft hard. His personal wealth has fallen from 53bn to 37.5bn, according to the Sunday Times.

The richest man in Britain is the Duke of Westminster whose 4.4bn fortune from property in the Mayfair and Belgravia areas of London has moved him up one place into top spot.

The newspaper's annual Rich List, published on Sunday, reveals the 1,000 richest people in Britain, the richest Britons living abroad and the richest people in the world. But the figures are estimates with few of those on the list willing to confirm details of their fortunes.
Bill Gates
Microsoft's Bill Gates is not as rich as he was - but still worth 37.5bn

Worldwide, the list shows some of the wealthiest people come from backgrounds as varied as computers, oil, supermarkets, confectionery and the media.

To earn a place in the top 1,000 in the UK, individuals need to be worth more than 35m.

The Queen, who celebrated her 75th birthday on Saturday, has seen her fortune rise by 25m this year to 300m, pushing her up one place to equal 105th.
World winners
Robson Walton, supermarkets, USA, 45.3bn
Bill Gates, computers, USA, 37.5bn
King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, oil, Saudi Arabia, 20bn
Warren Buffett, investments, USA, 17.3bn.

Author JK Rowling, the creator of the best selling Harry Potter books, is one of only 69 women on the list.

Her wizard writing skills have earned her 65m.

The Duke of Westminster moves up from second place overtaking Hans Rausing's food packaging business which had been top of the list for the last two years.

A rise in the property market has seen the duke's fortune rise from 3.7bn last year to 4.4bn this year.

Rich Brits

From the sports world, motor racing chief Bernie Ecclestone has increased his wealth by 50% and moves up from sixth to third place with 3bn.
UK top 10 (brackets denote 2000 list)
1 (2) Duke of Westminster, property, 4.4bn
2 (1) Hans Rausing, food packaging. 4.2bn
3 (6) Bernie and Slavica Ecclestone, motor racing 3bn
4 (4) Lord Sainsbury and family, supermarkets, 2.9bn
5 (6) Joseph Lewis, finance and investment, 2.2bn
6 (9) Bruno Schroder and family, banking, 1.75bn
7 (-) Nadhmi Auchi, finance, 1.7bn
7 (17) Terry Matthews, electronics, 1.7bn
9 (9) Philippe Foriel-Destezet, recruitment services, 1.6bn
10 (29) Mark Dixon, business services, 1.4bn
10 (20) Adrian and John Swire, shipping and aviation 1.4bn

In fourth place - the same position as last year - is Lord Sainsbury who stands at 2.9bn, while Joseph Lewis's financial and investment interests move him up one place to fifth, worth 2.2bn.

Lewis, based in the Bahamas, tops the list of richest Britons living abroad.

The profits from his company Enic has enabled him to buy a 30% controlling stake in Tottenham Hotspur football club.

He also paid 1.4m last year to play a round of golf with world number one Tiger Woods.

But this year the number of British billionaires overall has dropped from 26 last to 22.

Dwindling heirs

Like Walmart and Asda tycoon Walton, the richest businessmen in Europe also amassed their wealth through the supermarket industry.

Karl and Theo Albrecht, founders of Aldi, are worth 13.3bn which puts them in ninth equal place in the world's richest top 10.

But the survey, compiled by wealth expert Philip Beresford, shows a marked drop in the ranks for inherited wealth.

Only 241 of the 1,000 in the list inherited their fortunes - the smallest proportion ever.

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See also:

19 Apr 01 | Business
Microsoft results beat forecasts
20 Feb 01 | Business
Wal-Mart has 'weathered the worst'
18 Nov 00 | Scotland
Rowling heads rich list
19 Mar 00 | Business
Brits are Forbes tech billionaires
16 Mar 00 | e-cyclopedia
The Rich lists: Who really cares?
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