Hundreds of wealthy individuals have lost their billionaire status since the beginning of this year. The global economic meltdown triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic has forced millions of small businesses to shut their doors. Unemployment rate in the US has shot through the roof. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, some have added billions of dollars to their net worth. Many others have lost billions at the same time. Here we take a look at the top 10 billionaires who have gained and lost the most wealth since the beginning of 2020.
According to Forbes' 34th annual list of billionaires, 226 people lost their billionaire status in the first half of March 2020. There are a total of 2,095 billionaires worldwide. Of them, 51% are poorer than they were a year ago. The billionaires have collectively lost $700 billion compared to last year.
Below we look at the billionaires who gained and lost the most wealth since the beginning of this year. The ranking is based on data from the Bloomberg Billionaires Index as of April 09, 2020. The index tracks the net worth of billionaires on a daily basis.
Top 10 billionaires who have gained the most year-to-date
The biggest gainer amid the COVID-19 pandemic has been Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos. He remains the world's richest person with a total net worth of $125 billion, having gained a staggering $10.2 billion year-to-date.
Amazon was at the top of our list of the best coronavirus stocks. The online retailer is getting much higher than usual orders as people choose to order more goods online. The Amazon stock has also held up pretty well amid the current crisis. Jeff Bezos' former wife Mackenzie Bezos also gained $3.48 billion, which took her total net worth to $40.6 billion.
Jeff Bezos is followed by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who has gained $5.09 billion this year so far. The Tesla stock has been on a wild ride over the last few months.
Li Xiting, the CEO of Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics, has seen his net worth swell by $4.34 billion amid skyrocketing demand for ventilators and other life-saving medical devices. Li Xiting is the richest person in Singapore with a total net worth of $13.5 billion. Xu Hang, who co-founded Mindray with Li Xiting, gained $3.66 billion this year.
Chinese billionaire Liu Yonghao has seen his net worth rise by $3.73 billion to $15 billion this year so far. Yonghao is the founder and chairman of China's largest animal feed producer New Hope.
Qin Yinglin, another Chinese billionaire, saw his fortunes grow $3.48 billion to $12.6 billion. Yinglin is the chairman of the pig breeding giant Muyuan Foodstuff.
Zoom Video Communications shares have skyrocketed in the last few months. Thousands of corporations large and small are using its video conferencing service to communicate with their employees. As a result, Zoom founder and CEO Eric Yuan's net worth has risen $2.91 billion to $6.48 billion.
New Zealand's wealthiest person Graeme Hart witnessed a $2.74 billion jump in his net worth. Chinese billionaire Leng You-Bin occupies the 10th spot with a gain of $2.43 billion. Leng You-Bin is the chairman of China Feihe, one of the country's leading dairy product companies.
Top 10 billionaires who have lost the most year-to-date
Topping the list of biggest losers is the French billionaire Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive of the luxury goods giant LVMH. His net worth has declined a staggering $29.8 billion this year so far. He still has $75.4 billion.
Mexican business magnate Carlos Slim has suffered a loss of $17.6 billion in his net worth. Amancio Ortega, founder of the Spanish fashion group Inditex, also saw his net worth decline by $17.6 billion to $57.9 billion.
The net worth of India's Mukesh Ambani fell $14.1 billion to $44.6 billion. Ambani is the chairman of Reliance Industries. Ambani is followed by Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway, whose net worth dropped by $12.9 billion. Buffett is expected to make some lucrative deals in the current crisis as Berkshire Hathaway has been sitting on a cash pile of around $128 billion.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's net worth declined by $11.4 billion. Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson saw his net worth drop by $9.9 billion. Charles Koch and Julia Koch (wife of David Koch, who died last year) of Koch Industries recorded a fall of $9.5 billion in their net worth, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Bill Gates also found himself among the top ten as his net worth has declined by $9.16 billion this year so far. He still has a net worth of $104 billion, some of which he is donating to help develop vaccine for COVID-19.