Tags: amancio ortega | forbes | billionaire | bill gates

Amancio Ortega Briefly Surpasses Bill Gates as Richest Man in the World

Image: Amancio Ortega Briefly Surpasses Bill Gates as Richest Man in the World
A file picture taken on February 4, 2004, shows the founder of Spain's Inditex, the world's largest fashion retailer and owner of the Zara brand, Amancio Ortega, heading to welcome Uruguayan President Jorge Batlle, in Arteixo, near Coruna, northwestern Spain. (Miguel Riopa/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 23 Oct 2015 12:53 PM

Amancio Ortega, billionaire owner of Zara, briefly challenged Bill Gates for the position of the richest man in the world on Forbes' real-time tracker this week.

Ortega’s net worth hit $80 billion when stock in his company, Industria de Diseno Textil — abbreviated Inditex — reached an all-time high on Friday morning. But just hours later, the share prices slipped and Gates regained his title, Forbes reported.

"The two billionaires will likely swap the title of world’s richest man in the coming days, as shares of Inditex, Microsoft, and their other holdings continue to bounce up and down," Forbes wrote.

Around midday on Friday, Gates' fortune sat at $79.2 billion, while Ortega's came in at $78.6 billion.

Inditex shares have risen 50 percent over the past 12 months, Forbes said. The Spanish billionaire's earnings are even more remarkable when considered that the Forbes list is maintained in dollars, and the value of the Euro has fallen in the last year, from $1.27 to $1.10 Friday.

Gates has always been a much more well-known name on the list than Ortega, who keeps a low profile. But his company, which operates the European clothing retailer Zara, has consistently grown. Business Insider reported that Ortega has a "fascinating rags-to-riches story."



In a biography, Ortega said he remembered days when he didn't have enough food as a child. He left school as a young teenager and began working as a messenger for a store. Around age 40, Ortega launched Zara in Spain, gradually growing the business throughout Europe.



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Amancio Ortega, billionaire owner of Zara, briefly challenged Bill Gates for the position of the richest man in the world on Forbes' real-time tracker this week.
amancio ortega, forbes, billionaire, bill gates
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2015-53-23
Friday, 23 Oct 2015 12:53 PM
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