Amid Coronavirus Uncertainty, World
Mounting market losses amid the Coronavirus pandemic have wiped out $293 billion from the fortunes of the world's 20 richest people in just over a month, Forbes calculates. When the Dow Jones reached its all-time high on February 13, the top 20 fortunes combined for more than $1.4 trillion — a figure that has since crashed to $1.1 trillion. Monday alone accounted for $68 billion in losses as the S&P and Dow plunged 12% and 13%, respectively.
Among this elite group, the biggest loser over the past month in dollar terms is LVMH chairman and CEO Bernard Arnualt, whose luxury fashion conglomerate announced Sunday it would convert perfume factories for hand sanitizer production. His fortune has plunged $29.6 billion since February 13 to $79.9 billion on Monday, after crossing the $100 billion mark in 2019. LVMH stock is down nearly 30% over the past month, falling nearly in tandem with the broader market in France.
In percentage terms, the biggest loser is India's Mukesh Ambani, who founded energy conglomerate Reliance Industries, the most valuable company in his nation. The firm's tanking stock has wiped out nearly a third of Ambani's fortune, which now stands at $38.6 billion.
Meanwhile, Jeff Bezos, the wealthiest person on the planet, is now also its sole centibillionaire, as Bill Gates' fortune took a $5.8 billion hit on Monday and ended the day at $97.8 billion. Bezos, however, might soon find a similar outcome; his net worth fell $5.3 billion to $105.1 billion, piling on to the Amazon founder’s losses of $25.6 billion since February, which is the second-biggest drop after Arnault.
Monday’s biggest loser was Facebook cofounder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who shed $8.8 billion after Facebook shares plunged more than 14%. He's now worth $54.3 billion, down 31% since the coronavirus began its market rout.
Former presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg (worth $50.9 billion), and Koch Family magnates Charles and Julia ($40 billion each) were the only top fortunes to escape their cohort's fate; they have weathered the losses mostly because their wealth is based in private companies, which are largely spared from the public market's real-time pricing.