Bill Gates
Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates attends a news conference at the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) conference in London June 13, 2011. REUTERS/Paul Hackett

Bill Gates is once again the richest man in the world, thanks to a surge in Microsoft stock, according to Bloomberg.

Gates, who owns about 436 million shares of Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:MSFT) stock, and now has a net worth of $72.7 billion, has inched just ahead of telecom mogul Carlos Slim who is worth $72.1 billion.

Carlos Slim has been the world's richest man for four years in a row, according to Forbes, which also compiles a ranking based on people's net worth.

Microsoft stock has moved up more than 4 percent over the past five days, and is up more than 27 percent this year. Shares in Microsoft hit a five-year high on Thursday, Bloomberg reported.

Bloomberg's billionaire ranking, which lists all the world's wealthiest in order, has not yet been updated with Thursday's valuations.