Arnault's wealth soars to $210 billion, leaving Musk in the dust
Bernard Arnault, the world’s richest person, is solidifying his lead over second-ranked Elon Musk. The luxury tycoon is selling more expensive goods, while the Tesla Inc. founder cuts prices on electric vehicles.
The Frenchman behind LVMH saw his fortune soar by $12 billion on Thursday to almost $210 billion, a record high and his second-biggest single-day rise ever, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Musk is worth $180 billion after gaining $3.8 billion.
The surge in the 74-year-old Arnault’s net worth came after investors cheered quarterly sales published by the producer of Louis Vuitton handbags, Moet & Chandon Champagne and Christian Dior gowns. LVMH shares rose 5.7% Thursday to a record in Paris trading, propelling it into the world’s top 10 companies with a market capitalization of 444 billion euros ($491 billion). The stock continued its upward march Friday, rising 0.7% midday after rival Hermes International also published strong sales.
The relatively discreet Arnault — whose family owns 48% of LVMH’s share capital — joined Musk and Amazon.com Inc.’s Jeff Bezos this month as the only individuals whose wealth has exceeded $200 billion. He’s the first person outside the U.S. to accomplish the feat.
LVMH’s performance was driven by Chinese shoppers splashing out on pricey goods after emerging from pandemic lockdowns. The company registered growth in all regions even with a “bit of a slowdown” in the U.S.
While Arnault gets richer by selling designer clothes and jewelry, Musk’s wealth has dropped since peaking at $340 billion. Tesla, the electric-car maker he co-founded, is cutting prices across its U.S. lineup in a bid to boost demand. The manufacturer is also lowering prices for the new Model 3 and Model Y in Singapore.
Twitter, the other company he runs along with SpaceX, could become cash-flow-positive as soon as this quarter, Musk said this week in a rambling interview. The social media platform was saddled with billions of dollars of debt after his acquisition.