Global tensions sparked a market selloff on Thursday that drained US$42.7bn (about R575bn) from the net worth of the world’s 500 richest people and knocked Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos from his spot as the world’s second richest person.
The rout in US stocks, the worst since May, lopped $2bn from Bezos’s fortune, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, as shares of the online retailer tumbled 2.6% to $956.92. Bezos, 53, is now worth $82.2bn, about $600m behind Spanish retail magnate Amancio Ortega, founder of the Zara clothing chain.
The losses, coming as US President Donald Trump ratcheted up his rhetoric with North Korea, spanned multiple regions and industries. Technology billionaires were hit the hardest, accounting for seven of the 10 biggest declines. NetEase chairman Lei Ding incurred the second largest loss, dropping $1.8bn to $16.8bn, followed by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, whose net worth slid $1.6bn to $71.2bn.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, who ceded the number one spot to Bezos on an intraday basis two weeks ago, lost $848.5m on the day, while remaining at the top of the ranking with $90bn. — Reported by Brendan Coffey and Jack Witzig, (c) 2017 Bloomberg LP