Owner of French luxury brand Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH) has become the richest man in the world with a net worth of $186.3 billion, according to Forbes. The French tycoon has now replaced Amazon owner Jeff Bezos as the richest man in the world.
The founder of Amazon, the world’s largest online retail platform, Jeff Bezos had an estimated net worth of $186 billion when Arnault overtook him. Ever since, Bezos has reclaimed the tag of richest man, with an estimated net worth of $188.4 billion. When the markets opened after the French fashion tycoon won the richest man tag, his net worth was $187.3 billion.
Race to the richest tag
The two tycoons were on the same level till the markets opened on May 24, Monday, when shares of LVMH rallied from where they left off at close on Friday. The Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy brand owner’s wealth went up by $1.7 billion, which was just enough for the French magnate to beat Bezos. Later, Amazon shares went up over 1 per cent on Monday, which helped Bezos gain $2.4 billion again. Further on Tuesday, Amazon’s stock rose 1.3 per cent when compared to the LVMH stock at 1.2 per cent, when Bezos hogged the top spot.
In third place was Tesla CEO Elon Musk, with a net worth of $150.8 billion. In the beginning of January 2021, Elon Musk overtook Bezos to become the richest on three occasions before the Amazon tycoon reclaimed his space at the top on January 15.
The three tycoons, including Arnault, Bezos and Musk, have witnessed their net worth grow through the pandemic, as they have gained a combined worth of over $300 billion. The net worth of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos hit a peak of $200 billion twice, first in August 2020 and later in April 2021. India’s Mukesh Ambani is 12th on the list of Forbes’ real-time billionaire index and is the richest Asian with $77.3 billion, while Gautam Adani is in 16th place with $68.8 billion.
Rise of LVMH
Talking about LVMH, the luxury goods firm has major brands such as Celine, Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, Givenchy and Bulgari, among others is rated as the most valued company in Europe with an estimated worth of $330 billion as of Tuesday. In early January 2021, the French luxury brand LVMH acquired the famed American jewellery brand Tiffany for a little over $16 billion.
Bernard Arnault goes by the tag ‘wolf in cashmere’ for his role in building the LVMH brand as the biggest seller of luxury products in the world. The company’s sales bounced back after the pandemic, especially among US and Chinese consumers. Its stock price has also increased, alongside the wealth of Arnault. In November 2020, Arnault became the second richest person in the world. Arnault had gained second place even in 2019 but his ranking dropped when the LVMH stock declined during the pandemic.
According to its recent earnings report, LVMH reported revenue of $17 billion in the first quarter of 2021, a 32 per cent increase compared to the same quarter a year ago.
Amazon sustains gains
On the Amazon.com front, Jeff Bezos sold nearly $2.5 billion of the company’s stock, which was the magnate’s first big sale this year. Earlier, in 2020, he sold over $10 billion of the company’s stock. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Bezos holds over 10 per cent of the company, which is the principal share of the Bezos wealth.
Ecommerce giant Amazon reported impressive first quarter earnings results for the first quarter of 2021. Amazon beat analysts’ expectations as its sales recorded a 44 per cent year-on-year increase to touch $108.5 billion. The earnings per share was at $15.79 as compared to analyst expectations of $9.54 per share. Amazon’s second quarter guidance signals that it expects sustained momentum to post revenues in the $110 to $116 billion range.
According to Forbes, a total of 493 people were added to the Billionaire list of 2021. In this Forbes list of new entrants to the Billionaires club, 210 have come from China and Hong Kong, and 98 hail from the US. Forbes has also noted that there are 2.775 billionaires in the world currently, with a collective net worth of $13.1 trillion.
Bernard Arnault, owner of the luxury group Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH) replaced Amazon’s Jeff Bezos to become the world’s richest person for a brief while before the latter reclaimed his position to the top spot. The luxury giant has made its way to the top two positions on the back of a rise in the stock prices of LVMH in the recent past.