Forbes Rich List: Bill Gates raking in most cash, O’Brien - Desmond and Naughton make the cut
Volatility in stock markets and a slump in oil prices have rocked the annual Forbes Rich list which found a total of 1,810 billionaires this year, down from a record 1,826 last year.
But Microsoft founder Bill Gates is still the richest man in the world with a net worth of $75bn (€66bn), according to Forbes with other technology entrepreneurs like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg ranking high too.
Businessman Denis O’Brien is the richest Irishman on the list with a net worth of $5.7bn.
Mr O’Brien, whose investments range from mobile giant Digicel to Independent News & Media, the owner of this website, is ranked at number 219 on the list.
He is followed by financier Dermot Desmond whose wealth has been valued at $1.9bn while Glen Dimplex founder Martin Naughton also features with a $1.6bn net worth.
However, Pallonji Mistry, the Indian construction tycoon is listed as the richest person in Ireland and is worth $14.7bn according to Forbes because he has Irish citizenship.
He is the husband of Dublin-born Patsy Perin Dubash.
US born private equity tycoon John Grayken is also on the Irish list because of his citizenship with a net worth of $6.3bn.
He is joined on the list by Campbell’s Soup heir and US businessman John Dorrance III who is ranked fourth in Ireland.
He renounced his US citizenship back in the 1990s and moved to Ireland.
Overall, the aggregate net worth of the world’s billionaires was $6.5 trillion, $570m lower than last year
And for the first time since 2010, the average net worth of a billionaire dropped - it is now $3.6bn, $300m less than last year.
L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt of France is top of the list of the richest woman in the world - she is also the 11th richest on the list.
Alice Walton, of Wal-Mart fame, is the second richest woman in the world but her value dropped to $32.3bn as shares in the retailer fell.
According to the list, 27 women joined the ranks of billionaire and another three returned to the list.
Meanwhile, Ryanair was ranked the ninth biggest airline in the world in the Forbes list.
Ranked at number 742, the biggest airline on the list was Delta followed by United Continental Holdings.
Aer Lingus and BA owner was third and Lufthansa was fourth in the list of the world's biggest public companies by sector.
Unsurprisingly, three Chinese banks were in the top slots in the annual annual ranking of the world’s largest public companies.