Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista, the “flashy” chairman of the industrial conglomerate EBX, was ranked by Forbes the seventh richest man in the world after occupying the eighth spot in 2010 and 2011. His assets were estimated at US$30 billion (about R$52.6 billion), less than half of Mexico’s Carlos Slim, who heads the list with a fortune of US$ 69 billion (R$ 121 billion). A ranking organized by Bloomberg showed the Brazilian in tenth position.

Top ten according to Forbes:

1. Carlos Slim (US$ 69 billion)
2. Bill Gates (US$ 61 billion)
3. Warren Buffett (US$ 44 billion)
4. Bernard Arnault (US$ 41 billion)
5. Amancio Ortega (US$ 37,5 billion)
6. Larry Ellison (US$ 36 billion)
7. Eike Batista (US$ 30 billion)
8. Stefan Persson (US$ 26 billion)
9. Li Ka-shing (US$ 25,5 billion)
10. Karl Albrecht (US$ 25,4 billion)

After telling Brazilian media he’d be No. 1 by 2013, the Rio de Janeiro-based billionaire told Bloomberg News last March he would take first place by 2015.

“You don’t do this from one year to the other,” Batista said in a March 2 telephone interview from Rio, arguing he still plans to overtake Slim by 2015. “I absolutely maintain that goal. I do not regret it, absolutely not. I am probably, among the billionaires, the least indebted guy of all of them.”

OGX, Batista’s oil and gas company, started to produce crude in January, seven months after its original target. Batista invited OGX skeptics to “drink hot petroleum,” according to a posting on his Twitter account.

Source: Folha, Estado, Bloomberg

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