Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive of luxury goods maker LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton, has pipped Tesla CEO Elon Musk to become the world's richest person.
Musk, who recently bought microblogging platform Twitter for $44 billion, has seen his fortune dip by over $100 billion in 2022.
The Tesla CEO's net worth fell to $164 billion on Tuesday following a selloff in the electric carmaker's stock. Shares of Tesla have tumbled 60% since January this year, dragging the EV giant's market capitalisation to under $500 billion.
In comparison, Arnault's net worth stood at $171 billion. The 73-year-old French business magnate owns 48% in fashion giant LVMH. His company owns luxury brands like Christian Dior, Fendi, Bulgari, Tiffany & Co. and champagne maker Moet & Chandon.
Third on the world's rich list is Asia's wealthiest man Gautam Adani. Adani's net worth currently stands at $125 billion. The Gujarat-based tycoon's fortune has soared $48 billion this year, making him the biggest gainer year-to-date.
Amid the Tesla stock rout, Musk's stake in SpaceX has become a silver lining for his fortune. The SpaceX founder owns a $47 billion worth stake in the private company.
Musk had initially proposed to buy out Twitter in April 2022. He later tried to get out of the deal, citing Twitter's inability to provide data on spam accounts. However, Musk again proposed to buy Twitter for $54.20 per share in October, reversing his stand on abandoning the deal and likely avoiding a contentious courtroom battle.
The billionaire has sold over $15 billion in Tesla shares — about $8.5 billion in April, then another $6.9 billion in August — to raise funds for the Twitter acquisition.
While acknowledging that he and other investors overpaid for Twitter, Musk believes that the long-term potential for Twitter is, in order of magnitude, greater than its current value. "I will make sure Tesla shareholders benefit from Twitter long-term," the billionaire tweeted on Wednesday.
Musk also cautioned about debt in turbulent macroeconomic conditions, especially when the US Federal Reserve keeps raising rates. "Tesla will be great long-term, but doesn’t control macroeconomic tides," he added.
In a conference call following Tesla's quarterly results in October, Musk said he sees a potential path for Tesla to be worth more than Apple and Saudi Aramco combined.
While Tesla was worth $700 billion at the time, Apple's market capitalisation stood at $2.3 trillion and oil producer Saudi Aramco had a market cap of $2.1 trillion.
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