That was to be expected.
Jeff Bezos has lost the title of second richest man in the world, behind Elon Musk, leader of Tesla’s electric vehicles (TSLA) chief driver.
The founder and executive chairman of tech and online retail giant Amazon (AMZN) dropped to No. 3, around 10:38 a.m. on Sept. 16 in New York, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
At the time, Bezos had estimated a fortune at $145.8 billion, compared to $146.9 billion for Indian tycoon Gautam Adani, who ended the day with a fortune of $147 billion, consolidating his second place in the morning. . Bezos has gone up a bit and is also worth about $147 billion.
The day started with Adani at number 3 and Bezos at number 2.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, only $1 billion had separated Bezos from Gautam Adani, the Indian billionaire and chairman of Adani Group, an industrial conglomerate.
Bezos’ fortune was subsequently estimated at $150 billion in this ranking, while Adani’s was estimated at $149 billion.
Since the two men’s immense fortune rests primarily on the stock each owns in his respective company, the safe bet was that Adani would catch up with Bezos at the end of the day.
Current market volatility – fueled by fears for the health of the economy in the face of an aggressive rate hike by the Federal Reserve to fight inflation – is weighing on tech groups like Amazon in particular.
Amazon shares are down about 26% since January. This translates into a decline in Bezos’ net worth, which has shrunk by $45.5 billion this year.
Adani’s meteoric rise
Conversely, Adani is experiencing a meteoric rise. His fortune has increased by $70.3 billion since January.
His compatriot, Mukesh Ambani, ranked the tenth richest person in the world with an estimated net worth of $88.7 billion, was the other top 10 billionaire to see his fortune soar this year (+$1.02 billion) through September 15. But the next day, Ambani, who is chairman and director of the Reliance Industries conglomerate, lost his profits. He has now lost $1.3 billion.
At the beginning of the year, Adani became the richest person in Asia, ahead of Ambani.
The rest of the top 10 is also in the red.
The fortune of Musk, the richest man in the world, has shrunk by $6.44 billion to $264 billion.
Bernard Arnault, Chairman and CEO of LVMH, (LVMUY) lost $40.2 billion to $138 billion.
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Bill Gates’ fortune has fallen by $26.6 billion to $112 billion.
Warren Buffett’s (BRK.A) (BRK.B) fell by $12.7 billion to $96.2 billion.
Alphabet (GOOGL) Co-founder Larry Page saw his fortune plummet by $33.7 billion to $94.7 billion. Sergey Brin, the other co-founder of Alphabet, lost $32.9 billion to $90.6 billion.
Larry Ellison (ORCL) saw his fortune drop by $18.1 billion to $89 billion.
Since becoming the third richest man in the world in August, Adani has seen his fortune grow by $12 billion, while Bezos’s has lost $3 billion.
Adani’s rise began during the Covid-19 pandemic. In March 2020, his net worth was estimated at over $6 billion. Since then, his fortune has increased by almost a factor of 25.
Given that increase, it’s also not out of the question that Adani could overtake Musk as the richest person by the end of the year.
A conglomerate built with debt
Adani, 60, is not very well known in the West.
Born in 1962 in Ahmedabad in western India, Adani comes from a modest family of seven children whose father was a small textile merchant.
Adani, a self-made executive, started working at the age of 16 at the diamond merchant Mahendra Brothers, where he was responsible for grading gemstones.
In 1988, he founded a trading firm that would grow into the Adani conglomerate.
He has grown the group by acquiring indebted companies. The Adani group has become the most valuable company in India. The company owns mines, ports and power plants; it owns a dozen commercial ports and is present in coal, electricity and renewable energy. It has also diversified into airports, data centers and defense.
The Adani group also recently entered the cement sector through assets of cement manufacturer Holcim. to buy (HCMLY) in India and also wants to set up an aluminum factory.
Adani Enterprises is the flagship of his empire. In 2021, sales were $5.3 billion.
On Aug. 23, the CreditSights subsidiary of Fitch Ratings warned that the conglomerate was “deeply overextended” and could “in the worst-case scenario” fall into a debt trap.
But two weeks later, the rating agency said it found it had made “calculation errors” in two of the Adani Group’s companies. It corrected its report and removed the words “deeply overloaded.”
“CreditSights’ views have not changed from the original report and we continue to maintain that the group’s leverage is greater,” concluded CreditSights.