Bernard Arnault becomes world’s second richest person, overtakes Bill Gates

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After 7 years reign at the No. 2 of the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Bill Gates has been overtaken by France’s Bernard Arnault on Tuesday. Gates now ranks number 3.

Bernard Arnault becomes world's second richest person, overtakes Bill Gates

Bernard Arnault is now the world’s second richest person. The luxury goods titan behind brands such as Louis Vuitton and Moet & Chandon is worth US$107.6 billion as of around noon today. In March when Forbes published its annual billionaire rankings, he was the fourth-richest person on the planet. His fortune, which hit $100 billion for the first time in June, has been propelled up by record-setting shares of his conglomerate LVMH, which are up just over 50% since the start of the year.

LVMH, Arnault’s luxury-goods maker, advanced to a record in Paris and pushed his net worth ahead of Gates by more than US$200 million. Arnault has added US$39 billion to his fortune in 2019 alone, the biggest individual gain by far among the 500 people in Bloomberg’s ranking.

Arnault, 70, joined Gates and Inc. founder Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest person, in the most exclusive wealth club last month, when his fortune surpassed US$100 billion for the first time. The trio’s collective wealth exceeds the individual market values of almost every company in the S&P 500 Index, including Walmart Inc., Exxon Mobil Corp. and Walt Disney Co.

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