Carlos Slim, the telecoms tycoon who controls Mexico's America Movil, is the richest person on Earth, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a ranking of the world's 20 wealthiest individuals.
Brazil's Eike Batista, who ranks 10th, still covets the top spot after vowing a year ago that he'd become the world's wealthiest man by 2015.
"I'm competitive," Mr Batista said. "It's Brazil's time to be number one. Brazilians have always admired the American dream. What's happening in Brazil is the Brazilian dream and I happen to be the example."
The index measures the world's wealthiest people based on market and economic changes. Each net worth figure in dollars is updated every business day in New York.
Mr Slim's fortune has increased 11pc this year, according to the index. Mr Gates (56), co-founder of Microsoft, is worth $62.4bn, down $102.1m and up 11pc year to date.
The fortune of Mr Buffett (81), chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, declined $336.9m to $43.8bn last Friday and is up 2.4pc in 2012. The combined net worth of the 20 richest people is $676.8bn. Nine are Americans, including three from the family of Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart Stores.