Propelled by a rise in stock prices of LVMH, fashion mogul Bernard Arnault briefly overtook Amazon head Jeff Bezos as the richest man in the world on Monday. In that period, Arnault had a net worth of an estimated $186.3 billion, which was $300 million above Jeff Bezos. At the time of publishing this article, Forbes' real-time billionaire index showed Bezos back on top with a fortune of $188.2 billion and Arnault with $187.3 billion.
Elon Musk comes in third with $152.5 billion, followed by Bill Gates with $126 billion, and Mark Zuckerberg with $117.7 billion. The richest woman is L'Oreal head Francoise Bettencourt Meyers who has a net worth of $88 billion along with her family. She ranks 11th in the list.
Mukesh Ambani, 12th on the list is the richest Asian with $77.3 billion. Gautam Adani is 16th with $68.8 billion.
Arnault's fortune comes from the pandemic-defying performance by luxury group LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy) that also owns names like Fendi, Christian Dior and Givenchy. Arnault's fortune jumped from $76 billion in March 2020 to $186.3 billion on Monday -- a rise of over $110 billion in 14 months.
LVMH rose 0.4 per cent during the initial trading hours on Monday, taking its market cap to $320 billion and pushing Arnault's fortune by more than $600 million.
RISE OF LUXURY
Europe's luxury houses saw a remarkable rise during the lockdown. The rise was driven by shoppers in China, helping LVMH record a revenue of $17 billion for the first quarter of 2021. This is an increase of 32 per cent from the year-ago period.
Not only LVMH, net worth of Francois Pinault who has luxury brands like Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen and Gucci in his kitty, rose from $27 billion in March 18, 2020 to $55.1 billion on Monday. Alain Wetheimer and Gerard Wertheimer of Chanel are now worth $35 billion from $17 billion in 2020. Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, richest woman on the list, saw her fortune go up by $40 billion in this period.
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