India's software king Azim Premji is the third richest in Asia while the top two slots have gone to Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-Shing and Japan's Yasuo Takei respectively, according to the latest ranking by Forbes magazine, which said the region had 73 billionaires in total.
Several moguls in the region were knocked down a notch or two by the bursting tech bubble and stock market turbulence, the magazine said.
Li made his fortune in property, shipping and telecom to name a few. His wealth grew from $11.3 billion last year to $12.6 billion, the magazine said. Li ranked 18th on the list, which was topped by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates who remained the richest man on the planet.
Japan's Yasuo Takei is the second richest Asian and ranked 37th on the list.
Premji is the third richest in the region followed by Japan's Kyosuke Kinoshita, Yoshitaka Fukuda, Nasatoshi Ito, Hong Kong's Patrick Wang, Malaysia's Robert Kwok, Singapore's Ng Teng Fong, India's Dhirubhai Aambani.
Of the billionaires in the region, 3 are from Australia, 2 from China, 13 from Hong Kong, 4 from India, 2 from Indonesia, 26 from Japan, 4 from Malaysia, 1 from New Zealand, 3 from the Philippines, 6 from Singapore, 2 from South Korea, 5 from Taiwan and 2 from Thailand.
The billionaire club swelled to 538 members this year, up from 482 last year, because Forbes decided for the first time to include all billionaires.
The rankings appear in the July 9 issue of Forbes, which hit the newsstands today.