Bernard Arnault is back on top as the wealthiest man in the world.
According to the Bloomberg billionaires index, Arnault earned $200 billion for the first time, as shares in his luxury goods company LVMH rose 30%.
Arnault, 74, is only the third man ever to earn $200 billion plus. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was the first to hit $200 billion in August 2020. Telsa’s Elon Musk has also crossed the $200 billion threshold. At one point, Musk’s net worth sat at $340 billion.
But recently, Arnault took the top spot from Musk, whose net worth is down $298 million. The two titans have been duking it out for months, switching back and forth between the richest man in the world title.
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Luxury goods are hot
According to Reuters, Europe’s luxury goods companies have been the top stock performers in the region in 2023.
Companies like LVHM, which owns brands like Louis Vuitton, Moet Hennesey, and Tiffany’s, are still popular with the wealthy — despite an international economic downturn.
“More people are flocking to spending on luxury goods after having survived Covid lockdowns,” Luca Solca, chief luxury goods analyst at Bernstein, told The New York Times. “The middle class did suffer and is hollowing out. But the wealthy were untouched, and the upper middle class is spending on all fronts.”
Arnault is cashing in on the trend. His fortune rose $2 billion on Tuesday alone, pushing him to $201 billion. His French counterpart Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers, the CEO of L’Oreal, is also thriving. She has been on top of the Forbes list of the richest women for three straight years, with an estimated net worth of $88.9 billion.
The top 5 billionaires are:
- Bernard Arnault: $201B
- Elon Musk: $171B
- Jeff Bezos: $126B
- Bill Gates: $121B
- Warren Buffet: $110B