Following a global stock market crash on March 12, now known as Black Thursday – the greatest single-day fall since the 1987 stock market crash – Mukesh Ambani has lost his place as Asia’s wealthiest man, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Bloomberg also reported that the world’s 500 richest people lost a combined US$238.5 billion last week.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the Forbes Billionaires numbers to see what it means for some of the world’s best known billionaires.
Jeff Bezos (USA)
The world’s richest man and Amazon founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, has seen a loss of 7.13 per cent (US$8 billion) from his wealth, down to a mere US$104.4 billion. His divorce with wife MacKenzie Bezos in July 2019 resulted in transferring a quarter of his Amazon stake to her – making her one of the richest women in the world. He currently owns nearly a 12 per cent stake in the company.
Bill Gates (USA)
Microsoft boss Bill Gates has seen a loss of 5.09 per cent – about US$5.3 billion – which has caused his net worth to dip just below the US$100 billion dollar mark to US$99.2 billion. Gates and his wife Melinda chair the world’s largest private charity organisation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Microsoft founder has so far donated US$35.8 billion worth of the company’s stock to the foundation. He owns about 1 per cent of shares in the company and has invested in different stocks and assets, making him the second wealthiest man in America.
Bernard Arnault and family (France)
French billionaire Bernard Jean Étienne Arnault is chairman and chief executive of LVMH Moët Hennessy – an empire comprising 70 brands including Louis Vuitton and Sephora. His fortune sits at US$82.5 billion after falling 8.57 per cent (US$7.7 billion). The luxury market has seen a big blow to its sales due to the Covid-19 pandemic, as a lot of the profits of LVMH rely on Chinese customers.
Warren Buffett (USA)
CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett’s net worth is now US$71.5 billion after losing 6.83 per cent (US$5.2 billion). Buffet pledged to give away more than 99 per cent of his fortune. In 2019 he donated US$3.6 billion to charitable causes, making good on his promise in 2010 when he and Bill Gates launched the Giving Pledge that encourages billionaires to donate half their wealth to charitable causes.
Amancio Ortega (Spain)
Boss of Spanish clothing brand, Zara, has seen a dip to his net worth of 8.17 per cent (US$5.2 billion), resulting in a total of US$58.1 billion. He remains one of the wealthiest retailers in the world. Zara is part of Madrid-listed Inditex, a company he co-founded with his ex-wife, the late Rosalia Mera. The company also owns Massimo Dutto and Pull & Bear.
Mark Zuckerberg (USA)
If you think that consumer goods, services and retail are the most affected – think again. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has seen one of the biggest percentage losses among his billionaire peers with 9.05 per cent to his wealth. His net worth decreased to US$57.4 billion after losing US$5.7 billion. He still owns about 15 per cent of Facebook stock. The company has come in for criticism for facilitating fake news.
Mukesh Ambani (India)
The head of one of Asia’s richest families, Mukesh Ambani, hailing from India and an oil and gas tycoon, has seen his net worth stabilise at US$40.4 billion after a 7.47 per cent fall – a US$3.3 billion reduction of his net worth. His company, Reliance Industries, was founded by his late father, Dhirubhai Ambani, which Mukesh and his brother Anil Ambani inherited.
Jack Ma (China)
E-commerce is another area that has suffered in the current global economic climate. Alibaba co-founder and owner of the South China Morning Post, Jack Ma, lost US$1.7 billion, reducing his net worth to US$39.4 billion. The former English teacher stepped down as Alibaba’s executive chairman in September 2019.
Note: This story was originally published on SCMP and has been republished on this website.