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Denis O'Brien made USD800m last year

Monday, March 03 14:38:12

Irish telecoms tycoon, Denis O'Brien, ranked the 234th richest person in the world after raking in an additional USD800m last year, according to the latest Forbes Billionaires list.

Mr O'Brien, who is one of five Irish on the list and has grown a business empire based in the Caribbean,, nonetheless slipped down one place to 234 in the rankings with a total fortune of $6 billion.

Irish citizen Pallonji Mistry, patriarch of Indian construction giant Shapoorji Pallonji Group, is the highest ranking Irish person on the list. He moved up 21 places to 82, after he got a $2.3 billion boost to his wealth this year thanks to the rising value of his 18.4 per cent stake in Tata Sons, the holding outfit of the $100 billion Tata conglomerate run by his younger son Cyrus.

With a fortune of $2.5 billion, Campbell's soup heir John Dorrance III is the third richest person in Ireland, but he has seen his position slide, down to 687 from 613 last year.

The fourth richest Irish person is Glen Dimplex founder Martin Naughton, who increased his wealth to $2.2 billion last year. He too however has slipped down the rankings, falling sixty places from 736 to 796.

The final Irish person making the list is investment kingpin Dermot Desmond, who grew his wealth by $200 million last year, up to $2 billion. However despite increasing his fortune, Mr Desmond fell back to 869th on the list, down from 831 last year.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates was named the world's richest person after his main rival for the title saw his net worth fall.

According to the magazine's 28th Annual Billionaires list, Mr Gates had a net worth of $76bn, up from $67bn the previous year.

Gates has $4bn more than Telecom mogul Carlos Slim, who had held the top spot for the past four years.

Forbes identified a record 1,645 billionaires - up from 1,426 in 2013 - with an accumulated wealth of $6.4trn.

The business magazine said this was the first year when a net worth of $31bn was needed for billionaires to make it into the top 20.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg just missed out, coming it at 21, despite being the biggest net gainer who was found to have more than doubled his fortune to $28.5bn - thanks to the value of his shares in the social network soaring.

A record number of women made the list - growing 25pc on 2013 with 172 billionaires.

The highest ranked woman was Christy Walton of Walmart retail fame at number 9. She has a net worth of $36.7bn, beating off last year's richest woman - L'Oreal's Liliane Bettencourt, who was worth $34.5bn.