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New Zealand's richest man, packaging king Graeme Hart, enjoyed a wealth increase of $200 million over the past year, says Forbes magazine.

Forbes has just published its annual list of the world's billionaires, which says Hart's wealth rose from $US5.3 billion to $US5.5 billion ($NZ7.46 billion) over the past year.

Last year Hart's investment company Rank Group bought America's Pactiv, maker of Hefty garbage bags for around $4.4 billion.

Hart, 55, is listed by Forbes as New Zealand's richest man and number 185 on its list of the world's richest people.

See his entry here.

Ex-pat investor brothers Richard and Christopher Chandler ($3.8 billion and $1.4 billion respectively) are the only other New Zealanders on the Forbes list.

Australian mining tycoons Georgina Rinehart ($9 billion) and Andrew Forrest ($6.7 billion) were the only people on the list from Australia outranking Hart.

Mexican telecommunications king Carlos Slim is named as the world's richest man, with $74 billion, well surpassing Microsoft founder Bill Gates with his $56 billion pile. Investment guru Warren Buffett is next on the list with $50 billion.

French luxury-goods magnate Bernard Arnault was fourth with $41 billion.

Slim gained the most in the past year as share prices of his companies rose. His wealth increased $20.5 billion from last year's estimate of $53.5 billion by Forbes.

A total of 332 Asians made the list, surpassing Europe's 300 for the first time. Moscow, with 79 billionaires, racked up more berths on the list than any other city in the world.

The United States still has the lead in total number of billionaires, with 413 of the 1,210 on the list.