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Mukesh Ambani richest Indian as Bill Gates returns to top

Mukesh Ambani again emerged as the richest among ten Indians in the Forbes annual list of a record 1,645 billionaires with an aggregate net worth of USD 6.41 trillion, up from USD 5.4 trillion last year.

Ambani, with a net worth of USD 18.6 billion was ranked 40th as Microsoft founder Bill Gates was back on top as the world's richest person on Forbes' 28th annual ranking of the world's billionaires after a four-year hiatus. His younger brother Anil Ambani was valued with a net worth of USD 5 billion.

Gates has topped the list for 15 of the last 20 years. With a net worth of USD 76 billion, up from USD 67 billion in 2013, the technology guru moved up on the list by one slot this year.

The Reliance industries chairman was followed among the Indians by steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal (No. 52) with USD 16.7 billion in the second place and Wipro's Azim Premji (No. 61) with USD 15.3 billion in the third place.

Other Indians on the list were: Dilip Shanghvi (No.82) USD 12.8 billion, Shiv Nadar (102) USD 11.1 billion, Kumar Birla (191) USD 7 billion, Sunil Mittal & family (244), USD 5.7 billion, Anil Ambani USD 5 billion, Micky Jagtiani (281) USD 5 billion and Savitri Jindal & family (295) USD 4.9 billion.

Gates beat out telecom mogul Carlos Slim Helu (2), who had maintained the number one spot for the past four consecutive years but lost USD 1 billion of his net worth, now valued at USD 72 billion, according to a Forbes media release.

Spanish clothing retailer Amancio Ortega (best known for the Zara fashion chain) maintained his number 3 spot from 2013, but increased his net worth USD 7 billion for a total of USD 64 billion, ahead of Warren Buffett (No. 4) with a net worth of USD 58.2 billion.

While Google co-founder Sergey Brin (19) made it into the top 20, the biggest net worth gainer was Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg (21), who more than doubled his fortune from USD 13.3 billion in 2013 to USD 28.5 billion.

The company's COO, Sheryl Sandberg (1,540), made the list for the first time.

Thanks to the tech boom and strong equity markets, the US led with the greatest number of billionaires, with 492, followed by China with 152 and Russia with 111, Forbes said.

Regionally, Europe boasted the most billionaires outside of the US, with 468 billionaires, followed by Asia-Pacific with 444.