Mexican tycoon Carlo Slim Helu has beaten out Americans Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to become the wealthiest person on earth, according to the 2010 Forbes list of the World's Billionaires.
Slim's wealth was estimated at $53.5 billion, up $18.5 billion in a year.
Forbes put the co-owner of AmericaMovil, the world's fourth largest mobile service provider, ahead of Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates, who had held the title of world's richest person for years.
Gates, whose estimated wealth is just $500 million less then Slim's, is ranked second in the 2010 list.
American investor Buffett is third, with an estimated $47 billion on his bank accounts.
According to some media estimates, 70-year-old Slim's wealth accounts for 8% of Mexico's GDP.
Forbes said most of the richest people on the planet have seen their fortunes soar in the past year, despite the global economic recession.
NEW YORK, March 11 (RIA Novosti)