Elon Musk reclaims title as richest person in the world, says Bloomberg

FILE - SpaceX's Elon Musk waves while providing an update on Starship, on Feb. 10, 2022, near Brownsville, Texas. Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald via AP

Elon Musk is once again the richest person in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, with a personal net worth of US$187 billion.

Much of Musk’s wealth is tied up in Tesla stock — which took a massive hit in 2022 but has since mostly recovered. It only took the tech CEO two months to reclaim his title.

Bloomberg reports that by the market’s close on Monday, a rally in Tesla stock had bumped Musk ahead of CEO Bernard Arnault, head of the French luxury conglomerate Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH), whose net worth is listed as US$185 billion.

Musk is still listed as the second-richest person on the Forbes Real Time Billionaires List, but if Tesla stock keeps rising, any ambiguity about Musk’s ranking may soon disappear. Bloomberg’s index uses a slightly different methodology than Forbes.

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Musk was unseated as world’s richest person by Arnault in mid-December.

While Tesla stock saw a volatile 2022, Arnault’s LVMH experienced a modest drop in shares, as demand for luxury goods remained stable during the pandemic. The conglomerate’s brands include Christian Dior, Sephora, Fendi, Tiffany & Co., and Marc Jacobs, among many others.

Tesla’s stock woes were exacerbated after Musk’s controversial takeover of Twitter. By the end of the year, share prices for the electric car manufacturer had dropped about 65 per cent, according to financial news website The Street.

As such, Musk’s personal wealth experienced a historic decline. In early January, Guinness World Records awarded Musk for the “largest loss of personal fortune in history,” after losing hundreds of billions in the Tesla stock crash.

But since the start of 2023, Tesla shares have been steadily rising. The Street reports that Tesla stock is up almost 70 per cent. The stock is still not where it was a year ago, but the gap is getting smaller.

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The increase in stock price could be attributed to rising demand for Tesla vehicles. The EV manufacturer plans to start production on the highly anticipated Cybertruck in a few months. Tesla also told investors it plans to increase its overall production to 2 million vehicles this year from 1.37 million cars in 2022.

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