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Bezos retains top spot, Ambani improves rank in global rich list

Issac John /Dubai
issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com Filed on June 24, 2020
With a net worth of $160 billion, Bezos' wealth shot up from $20 billion in four months since the Covid-19 pandemic.

(AFP)

The richest Indian, Mukesh Ambani, improved his position globally by one slot to become the eighth richest person in the world with a net worth of $66 billion, as Amazon founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, retained his ranking as the richest person on the planet thanks to surge in his wealth in the four months since the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the latest report by Hurun Research.

Bezos and Steve Ballmer of Microsoft were the only two from the "Hurun Global Top 10" to see their wealth increase, while Ambani's declined by one per cent. Bezos' wealth shot up by $20 billion in four months to $160 billion since Covid-19 pandemic.

The research, "Wealth Impact 4-months after Covid-19 Outbreak," published months after the Hurun Global Rich List 2020 was released in February, looks into wealth changes of the world's most successful entrepreneurs in the four months ending May 31, 2020.

Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and CEO of facebook, saw his wealth drop by $13 billion in first two months of outbreak, but then recovered the same amount to rise to the fourth spot in the list of world richest persons. The biggest losers in the last four months were French billionaire Bernard Arnault and Warren Buffett, each down $18 billion, followed by Carlos Slim Helu, down $17 billion, and Amancio Ortega of Inditex, down $14 billion.

"Bernard Arnault and Warren Buffett were the biggest losers, down $ 18 billion each over the past four months. For Arnault it could have been a lot worse, since he was down $30 billion in the first two months after the outbreak, but managed to claw back $ 12 billion in the following two months," said Rupert Hoogewerf, Hurun Report chairman and chief researcher.

From a sectoral perspective, the biggest winners from the coronavirus pandemic seem to be online retailers, pharma, home improvement retailers, and also chocolate, soya sauce and pork producers, the report said.

Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industrial, was the only Indian in the Global Top 10 list. Ambani saw his wealth bounce back by adding $18 billion in last two months, after losing $19 billion in first two months after outbreak. Ambani's current net worth according to the list is $66 billion. However, despite the late surge, his wealth was down 1.0 per cent as compared to the pre-Covid levels, it said.

Ambani, whose Jio digital platform raised $22 billion dollars in the past two months, saw a "V-shaped recovery" in his wealth after his net worth plummeted during the first two months and made up nearly all the losses in the next two months as the market capitalisation of RIL crossed $150 billion weeks ago.

The Hurun report said the top five fastest risers are all from China, with Huang Zheng, chairman and CEO of China's largest online group discounter Pinduoduo, taking position as the fastest riser on the Hurun Global Rich List Top 100 during past four months, with his wealth increasing $17.5 billion to $35 billion by May 31. Other four Chinese fast growing billionaires are Pang Kang from Haitian soy sauce, Xu Hang from Mindray, Liu Yonghao and his family from New Hope, and Zhang Yong and Shu Ping from hotpot chain Haidilao.

Tencent's Pony Ma remains China's richest man with a $45 billion fortune, followed by Alibaba's founder Jack Ma and his family with a $43 billion and Huang Zheng.

In India, apart from Ambani, Cyrus Poonawalla of Serum Institute of India, HCL's Shiv Nadar and Gautam Adani, there are no one in the top-100 list.

Both US and China have gained marginally when one looks at the top-100 wealth owners, though the Asian country's growth has been a bit stronger between the two, the statement further added.

In the four months since the outbreak, 60 per cent of the entrepreneurs saw their wealth rise or stay the same, whilst 40 per cent were down.

"Whilst the first two months of the outbreak saw a massive wealth wipeout of the Hurun Global Top 100, the second two months saw a V-shaped recovery for two-thirds of the Hurun Global Top 100, reminding us that it is dangerous to bet against the world's best wealth creators," said Hoogewerf.

issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com

author

Issac John

Editorial Director of Khaleej Times, is a well-connected Indian journalist and an economic and financial commentator. He has been in the UAE's mainstream journalism for 35 years, including 23 years with Khaleej Times. A post-graduate in English and graduate in economics, he has won over two dozen awards. Acclaimed for his authentic and insightful analysis of global and regional businesses and economic trends, he is respected for his astute understanding of the local business scene.


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