The richest people on the planet added $15.2 billion (R124bn) to their collective net worth last week as global markets rose on speculation that Europe will move to ease borrowing costs in Italy and Spain.
The week’s biggest gainer was Spanish retail tycoon Amancio Ortega, who added $3bn to his fortune after Inditex, the world’s largest clothing retailer, announced plans to build a 753 000m2 logistics centre in Spain’s Guadalajara province. Inditex shares were up 3.8 percent for the week.
Ortega’s gain came as Spain’s unemployment rate reached 24.6 percent, the highest on record. With a net worth of $43.5bn, the 76-year-old is Europe’s richest man, and ranks fourth on the Bloomberg billionaires index.
“At the beginning of the week we had a flood of bad news, starting with Greece and culminating with Spain credit at all-time wides,” Nelson Saiers, the chief investment officer of Alphabet Management, said at the weekend.
Facebook co-founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg continued his slide down the ranks of the world’s billionaires as shares of the world’s largest social networking company plunged to a record low after its first earnings report showed a slower sales gain and narrower profit margins.
The 28-year-old’s fortune plummeted $2.5bn during the week. His fortune now stands at $12.1bn.
Other Facebook shareholders also took a hit. Dustin Moskovitz, who started the company with Zuckerberg from their dorm room at Harvard University, owns 133.7 million shares of the firm’s class B stock worth $3.2bn, down $1.9bn since the company’s initial public offering.
Eduardo Saverin has a $1.3bn stake, down $760m since the offering. According to a regulatory filing dated May 17, he owns 53.1 million shares of Facebook.
Sean Parker owns 66 million Facebook shares valued at $1.6bn.
Eike Batista, the richest person in Brazil, gained $795m this week amid a recovery in the shares of his commodity start-ups.
Batista’s shipbuilder, OSX Brasil, rallied 11.2 percent after the company’s chief executive said it was in advanced talks for a new contract to supply oil rigs. Batista’s net worth of $21.3bn makes him the world’s 22nd-richest person.
Jeff Bezos gained $820m during the week. Shares of his Amazon.com gained the most in three months as investors bet that investments in its distribution network will pay off by the holiday season.
Carlos Slim remains the world’s richest person. America Movil, the largest wireless carrier in the Americas by subscribers, fell the most in eight weeks after a weaker Mexican peso.
The Mexico City-based firm reported a 46 percent drop in second-quarter net income after markets closed on Thursday.
Bill Gates is $12.7bn behind Slim. The Microsoft co-founder’s fortune rose $600m.
Number three on the index is Warren Buffett, who is worth $45.7bn. The Berkshire Hathaway chairman agreed to buy closely held Meadowbrook Meat on Thursday. The purchase increased Buffett’s bet on food-distribution companies. – Peter Newcomb New York from Bloomberg