Microsoft founder Bill Gates is no longer the world's richest man, claims the Sunday Times in its annual Rich List.

The newspaper claims Gates' fortune has shrunk – from £53.1 billion to a trifling £37.5 billion.

American retail magnate Sam Walton, who runs the Wal-Mart Stores international retail chain, jumped to top spot in the 2001 survey, with £45.3 billion

Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison took third place, with assets of £29 billion. He was worth £8.1 billion and ranked near the bottom of the top 20 last year.

The Sunday Times survey is based on information gathered by Forbes. A list of the world's richest 50 people is available online.