US financier Warren Buffett has overtaken Bill Gates as the world's richest man, according to Forbes annual billionaire's list, which this year saw Russia, China and India making increasing inroads.
Buffett, the 77-year-old chief of the Berkshire Hathaway holding company, saw his wealth jump from 52 billion dollars last year to 62 billion, pushing Microsoft co-founder Gates into third position after 13 years at the top.
Mexico's telecom mogul Carlos Slim Helu grabbed second place with a tidy nest egg of 60 billion dollars, up from 49 billion last year.
Buffett, who announced in 2006 he was giving the majority of his fortune to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, saw his wealth spike mostly due to the rising value of his Berkshire Hathaway stock.
In total, this year's list sees 1,125 people around the world making the billionaire's list, up from 946 last year. Their total net worth stands at 4.4 trillion dollars, up from 3.5 trillion dollars in 2007.
By nationality, the United States still easily led the rankings with 469 billionaires up from 415 last year, but Russia replaced Germany as the second placed country with 87 billionaires.
Third-placed India saw the number of its super-rich jump to 53 entries on the list - four of them in the top 10 - although China and Hong Kong if taken together would overtake it, with 42 and 26 billionaires respectively.
Japan, although still the second largest economy in the world, saw its number of billionaires trailing at 24 - overtaken by Turkey, which this year saw its number of mega-tycoons on the list jump from 22 in 2007 to 35.