The list of the world’s top billionaires has resembled a game of musical chairs, with highly volatile financial markets causing fast changes in the wealth levels of the world’s richest people.
Because of this year’s extraordinary volatility in markets and personal fortune, the list of the top five billionaires at the end of 2022 has shifted, with a surprise exit and an even more shocking addition. Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bernard Arnault, Bill Gates, and Larry Page were the top five richest people on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index a year ago, in that order.
Gautam Adani, the chairman and founder of the Adani Group, was the surprise entry this year into the top five richest people on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He succeeds Google co-founder Larry Page, whose net worth fell $45.8 billion this year as IT stocks plummeted, dropping him from fourth to tenth place on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
While four of the top five billionaires in 2022 have lost over $262 billion in net worth, India’s richest man, Gautam Adani, has added nearly $42 billion and risen 11 places on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Lets take a look at the top 3 players in the billionaires list:
1. Bernard Arnault – $161 billion
Bernard Arnault, the chairman of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s largest luxury goods company, is the world’s richest person as of December 23. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, his fortune is now $161 billion, down $10 billion in the last year.
Arnault’s involvement with luxury goods companies began in 1984 with the purchase of Boussac, a textile and retail company. Boussac also owned Christian Dior, which offered women’s clothing, fragrances, and accessories. Arnault’s mother was also a Dior fan, which led to Arnault’s desire to purchase the company.
He founded LVMH in 1987, establishing a collection of luxury brands that would grow to 75 by 2022, including Tiffany, Christian Dior, Fendi, Bulgari, Sephora, and TAG Heuer, to mention a few.
Together, these businesses enabled Arnault to surpass $100 billion in wealth for the first time in December 2019, and to rise to the top of the list of the world’s wealthiest persons in December 2022.
2. Elon Musk – $140 billion
Elon Musk, the South African-born creator of electric car manufacturer Tesla and spacecraft manufacturer SpaceX, is now the world’s second-richest person. His fortune is now worth $140 billion, a $134 billion decrease over the last year.
Musk began his entrepreneurial experience with Zip2, an internet-based city tour service, with a $28,000 investment. Compaq subsequently bought the company for $307 million, with Musk collecting $22 million for his stake.
Musk has since led or started multiple firms, including X.com, PayPal, SpaceX, Tesla, and Starlink. Among these, Tesla is Musk’s finest achievement; the business debuted on stock exchanges in 2010, raising $226 million. Tesla’s market capitalisation was $393 billion as of December 22.
Musk polled Twitter users in December to see if he should stand down as CEO of Tesla. This poll gained 17.5 million votes, with 57.5% of those who voted wanting Musk to resign. He has now indicated that he will resign once a replacement is found.
3. Gautam Adani – $120 billion
Gautam Adani, who was born in Gujarat, is the world’s third richest person, with a net worth of $120 billion, which has increased by more than $42 billion in the last year. Adani is the only billionaire on this list who has increased his wealth. He is also the greatest gainer in 2022 by a significant margin, with US options trader Jeff Yass coming in second with a gain of $29 billion.
Gautam Adani’s ascent has been swift, fueled by a significant increase in the market capitalisation of the Adani group’s seven listed firms, which have gained 8.55 lakh crore in market capitalisation this year.
Adani, whose holdings include ports and energy, has been dubbed “Asia’s busiest dealmaker” by Bloomberg. He also topped the sixth edition of the ‘Bloomberg 50,’ a list of the world’s most prominent business people.
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