The 40 richest people on the planet added $19.4 billion to their collective net worth yesterday after an increase in US jobs and positive earnings reports erased losses sustained earlier in the week.
The day’s biggest gainer was Spanish retail tycoon Amancio Ortega, who added $2.8 billion to his fortune as shares of Inditex SA, the world’s largest clothing retailer, jumped 5.4 per cent.
The 76-year-old, Europe’s richest man, is worth $45.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The Federal Reserve Bank’s pledge to provide additional support for the economy further disappointed investors who were anticipating a more definitive sign of additional monetary easing.
The losses were reversed yesterday after the US Labour Department reported a 163,000 payroll increase in July, boosted by a pickup in employment at automakers, even as the jobless rate rose to 8.3 per cent.
In the full week, Eike Batista, Brazil’s richest man, gained $65 million after he offered on July 31 to buy back all of the outstanding shares of his ports developer, LLX Logistica
SA. Batista will pay as much as 618.7 million reais ($305 million) to take the Rio de Janeiro-based LLX private. The company’s stock plunged to a three-year low last month.
The proposal is a reversal for Batista, 55, who has taken public six energy, commodities and logistics startups since 2006. Batista’s $21.3 billion fortune makes him the world’s 22nd-richest person.
Bernard Arnault’s fortune increased $474 million during the week. Shares of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA, the world’s largest luxury goods maker, rose 3.1 per cent in Paris trading after reporting a 20 percent increase in first-half earnings on July 26. France’s richest man, 63, ranks 16th on the index with a net worth of $24.1 billion.
Carlos Slim, 72, remains the world’s richest person. Slim’s fortune lost $569 million. He now has a net worth of $74.9 billion.
Bill Gates, 56, is $12.2 billion behind Slim. Shares of Microsoft, the world’s biggest software maker, were unchanged for the week. The world’s biggest software maker announced on July 31 that it will phase out Hotmail and introduce a new, free Web-based e-mail portal as it seeks to draw users from Mountain View, California-based Google Inc.’s Gmail.
No. 3 on the index is Warren Buffett, 81, with a net worth of $45.9 billion. Shares of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. rose to a 16-month high during the week. The Omaha, Nebraska-based company said yesterday that profit slipped 9 percent in the second quarter as derivative bets declined in value.
Liliane Bettencourt, Europe’s richest woman, sold her private island in the Seychelles to marine conservation organization Save Our Seas Foundation for $60 million, it was announced July 31. The L’Oreal SA heiress, 89, ranks 15th on the index with a net worth of $24.2 billion.
The richest man in Asia is Li Ka-Shing, who ranks 14th on the index with a net worth of $24.5 billion. Shares of the billionaire’s Cheung Kong Holdings Ltd. rose 3.38 percent during the week in Hong Kong.
Hutchison Whampoa Ltd., Li Ka-shing’s biggest company, posted first-half profit that beat analysts’ estimates after boosting earnings from U.K. utilities, phone services in Europe and retail stores in China.