Jeff Bezos is no longer the second-richest person in the world.
The Amazon.com Inc founder was overtaken recently by Indian industrialist Gautam Adani, whose net worth sits at US$147bil (RM670bil), according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a ranking of the world’s richest people.
Mr Adani now only trails Elon Musk, who remains the world’s richest person by a wide margin. He has a net worth of US$264 billion (RM1.2 trillion), according to Bloomberg.
The shake-up in the rankings of the world’s richest people comes as stocks have slumped this year amid rising interest rates and rising inflation.
Many of the world’s wealthiest people have at least some of their net worth tied up in the financial markets, meaning volatility in stocks and other holdings can sway their measures of wealth.
The S&P 500 is down 19% this year and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite has fared worse, falling 27%.
Establishing the exact net worth of the world’s wealthiest can also be tricky, in part because many of their holdings are private.
Mr Adani, 60 years old, is the chairman of Adani Group, an India-based conglomerate involved in initiatives including green energy, power and gas distribution. His net worth reached US$100bil (RM455bil) in April. Later that month, his personal wealth exceeded that of Warren Buffett.
He is the first person from Asia who has ranked so high on Bloomberg’s wealth index, long dominated by US tech entrepreneurs.
Mr Adani’s net worth has climbed by US$70bil (RM320bil) this year, as shares of his conglomerate’s publicly traded businesses have risen. His push into green energy comes as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stressed development for infrastructure and renewable energy.
Earlier this year, his company struck a deal of as much as US$10.5bil (RM47.8bil) to acquire control of two Indian-listed cement companies. He has called his firm’s push into the cement industry “yet another validation of our belief in our nation’s growth story.”
Mr Adani’s rise up the wealth ladder is a contrast from many of the world’s richest people. Nine of the 10 wealthiest individuals have seen their net worth drop this year; Mr. Adani is the only one whose wealth has risen, according to Bloomberg’s ranking.
Mr. Bezos stepped down from chief executive of Amazon last year and is now the company’s executive chairman. He owns almost 10% of Amazon’s shares outstanding as of Aug 24, according to FactSet.
Amazon’s stock has lost more than a quarter of its value so far this year, contributing to Mr. Bezos’ US$45.5bil (RM207bil) decline in wealth. He also founded the privately held space company Blue Origin LLC.
The net worth of Mr Musk, who runs Tesla Inc and who also founded space exploration company SpaceX, has fallen US$6.4bil (RM30bil) this year.
Mr Musk has been embroiled in a messy deal to buy Twitter Inc.
Messrs. Bezos and Musk have interacted on Twitter in the past. Mr Musk poked fun at the Amazon founder when he surpassed him in net worth last year.
Amazon and Tesla did not respond to requests for comment on behalf of Messrs. Bezos and Musk, respectively. Adani Group did not respond to a request for comment on behalf of its chairman. – Bangkok Post, Thailand/Tribune News Service