The World’s Billionaires Jockey for Position

Despite tepid trading last week, the world’s richest made collective gains of over $61 billion, and the ranks of the 10 wealthiest humans have shifted.

The most notable shifts to occur in the past week have included a surge in the personal value of Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Reliance Industries chair Mukesh Ambani, both gaining enough to surpass legendary investor Warren Buffett at least briefly. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s own wealth saw yet another multi-billion-dollar surge in a matter of days, further cementing a lead over Bill Gates, who remains the world’s second richest person.

Elon Musk’s wealth fluctuated over the week as Tesla’s share price soared by 11%, and rose as high as $80 billion on Monday following an additional surge of 12%, briefly allowing Musk to rank as the fifth wealthiest person in the world. As of this release, however, his value has settled back at $68.6 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Mukesh Ambani made more solid gains, passing both Buffett and Musk to land at a net worth of $72.4 billion – and becoming the world’s sixth richest person – as shares in the Reliance Industries Conglomerate continued to grow in value, having more than doubled since March.

Ambani’s ascension on the list of the world’s wealthiest was aided by Buffett’s recent donation of $2.9 billion to a selection of charities, and also by a renewed interest in digital purchases. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and its deleterious impact on traditional retail, eCommerce has seen a revival in recent months, with Reliance’s own digital unit having seen billions of dollars of new investment from companies such as Facebook.

This eCommerce boost also affected Jeff Bezos’s increased fortune. The Amazon CEO’s net worth reached $188 billion on Thursday as the online retailer’s already powerful stock saw a further increase in value. Bezos’s wealth is expected to balloon yet further as the US and other nations continue to grapple with lockdown measures, driving demand for web-based shopping.

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