Bernard Arnault is back on top as the richest man in the world.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires IndexArnault made $200 billion for the first time when shares in his luxury goods company LVMH rose 30%.
Arnault, 74, is only the third man ever to earn more than $200 billion. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was the first to reach $200 billion in August 2020. Telsa’s Elon Musk has also crossed the $200 billion mark. At one point, Musk’s net worth was $340 billion.
But recently Arnault took over the top spot from Musk, whose net worth has dropped by $298 million. The two titans have been battling it out for months, switching back and forth between the title of the richest man in the world.
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Luxury goods are hot
According to ReutersEuropean luxury goods companies were the best performing stocks in the region in 2023.
Companies like LVHM, owner of brands like Louis Vuitton, Moet Hennesey and Tiffany’s, are still popular with the wealthy despite an international economic downturn.
“More people are spending massively on luxury goods after surviving Covid lockdowns,” said Luca Solca, chief luxury goods analyst at Bernstein. The New York Times. “The middle class has suffered and is eroding. But the rich have been left untouched and the upper middle class is spending money on all fronts.”
Arnault responds to the trend. His fortune increased by $2 billion on Tuesday alone, bringing him to $201 billion. His French counterpart Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers, the CEO of L’Oréal, is also doing well. She has on top of the Forbes list of the richest women for three consecutive years, with an estimated net worth of $88.9 billion.
The top 5 billionaires are:
- Bernard Arnault: $201 billion
- Elon Musk: $171 billion
- Jeff Bezos: $126 billion
- Bill Gates: $121 billion
- Warren Buffet: $110 billion