The last one week has witnessed new records being set by the world’s richest people.
The wealthiest man on earth, Jeff Bezos, topped the once out-of-reach $200 billion (Ksh21.6 trillion) net worth.
Industrial designer, technology entrepreneur and philanthropist Elon Musk, the CEO of electric vehicle and clean energy company Tesla, added the title of centibillionaire when his fortune surpassed $100 billion (Ksh10.8 trillion) fueled by Tesla Inc.’s ceaseless rally.
And by Friday, August 28, the world’s 500 wealthiest people were $209 billion (Ksh22.6 trillion) richer than a week ago, reports Bloomberg.
The centibillionaires’ club now has four members: Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and the world’s third-richest person, joined Bezos and Bill Gates among the ranks of those possessing 12-figure fortunes earlier August.
Together, their wealth totals $540 billion (Ksh58.4 trillion), according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
This week marked just the latest boon for the personal fortunes of the world’s most-moneyed, whose red-hot growth has been largely driven by surging markets, particularly for tech shares.
U.S. stocks reached fresh highs on Friday, August 28 as investors took confidence in the Federal Reserve’s new inflation approach.
Musk’s net worth has grown by $76.1 billion (Ksh8.2 trillion) this year, propelled by Tesla’s stock price and a boosted valuation of Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX, says Bloomberg.
Still, Musk’s gain is second to that of Amazon.com, Inc. founder, Bezos, whose fortune has grown by $84.9 billion (Ksh9.2 trillion) in 2020 as coronavirus-induced lockdowns spur demand for Amazon deliveries.
Bezos’s fortune has doubled since he crested the $100 billion (Ksh10.8 trillion) mark in late 2017, even after surrendering a quarter of his Amazon stake to ex-wife MacKenzie Scott in divorce settlement in 2019.
Bezos’s ex-wife is now $700 million (Ksh75.7 billion) shy of surpassing L’Oreal SA heiress Francoise Bettencourt Meyers as the world’s richest woman.
The world’s 500 richest people have collectively grown their fortunes by $871 billion (Ksh941.8 trillion) this year, a 15 per cent increase, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.