Coronavirus fears drop net worth of 500 richest by $444BILLION

Coronavirus fears drop net worth of 500 richest people in the world by $444BILLION with Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates the biggest losers

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by more than 12 percent over five-day period
  • Plummeting stock market ate into net worth of world’s richest billionaires
  • Bezos, Gates, and French magnate Bernard Arnault lost combined $30billion 
  • Elon Musk, the 25th wealthiest person, took the fourth-largest loss – $9billion 
  • Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, saw net worth fall by $8.8billion 

Fears of coronavirus which have sent global stock markets plummeting in recent days have also eaten into the fortunes of the world’s wealthiest moguls.

The combined net worth of the world’s 500 richest people fell by $444billion as health officials around the world struggle to contain the mysterious pathogen.

The globe’s three wealthiest individuals – Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, and French magnate Bernard Arnault – took the biggest losses.

Their combined fortunes dropped by about $30billion, according to Bloomberg.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (left) and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates (right) took the steepest losses in recent weeks as the markets tanked due to fears of coronavirus

Elon Musk, the 25th wealthiest person in the world, took the fourth-largest loss – $9billion

Gates sounded the alarm about coronavirus on Friday, writing in The New England Journal of Medicine that it is behaving like a ‘once-in-a-century’ pathogen with the potential to kill more people than the 1957 influenza pandemic.

That year, 2 million people died around the world due to what the World Health Organization called ‘Asian flu.’

Elon Musk, the 25th wealthiest person in the world, took the fourth-largest loss – $9billion.

Musk’s electric car company, Tesla, saw its stock value drop precipitously from a high of $917 per share on February 19 to $625 on Friday.

At the closing bell, Tesla was trading at $667.99 per share.

In the last five days, the Dow Jones Industrial Average – the main index listing the stocks of 30 large companies – fell by more than 12 per cent – the largest five-day fall since the 2008 financial crisis.

Since the start of the year, the world’s 500 wealthiest people added $78billion to their fortunes. Those gains were wiped away in the last few days.

The third-richest man in the world, Bernard Arnault (seen center with his wife Helene Arnault, right, and daughter, Louis Vuitton’s executive vice president, Delphine Arnault, in Paris last week), lost $9.1billion in recent days

Warren Buffett, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, saw his net worth decline by $8.8billion.

Amancio Ortega, the Spanish billionaire whose holdings include the Zara department store, saw his fortune shrink by $6.8billion.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth dropped by $6.6billion. Google co-founder Larry Page and his partner Sergey Brin saw their fortunes fall by $6.4billion and $6.2billion respectively.

The net worth of Carlos Slim, the Mexican telecom magnate, fell by $6.2billion, according to Bloomberg.

The coronavirus crisis has also left a few notable billionaires with losses this year.

Micky Arison, the Carnival Corp. chairman and owner of the NBA’ Miami Heat, lost $1billion just this week.

Carnival is the parent company of Princess Cruises, the owner and operator of the Diamond Princess.

The Diamond Princess is the luxury cruise that was ordered quarantined for two weeks by Japanese authorities while it was docked off Yokohama in Tokyo Bay due to an on-board outbreak of coronavirus.

At least five passengers died after contracting the virus and more than 700 tested positive for the pathogen.

At the time of the quarantine, there were 3,711 passengers and crew on board. 

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