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World’s 40 richest lose $17bn in a week

The world’s 40 richest people lost a combined $17 billion (R133bn) last week as concerns about American jobs and European manufacturing drove global equities to their biggest weekly loss of the year.

Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson’s fortune declined by $775 million as shares of his Las Vegas Sands dropped 3.11 percent during the week to May 4. The 78-year-old is the 11th richest person in the world, with a net worth of $24.8bn, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

“There’s renewed economic concern in light of the continuing slowdown in Europe, political uncertainty due to the upcoming elections in France, and the possibility of reopening discussions on debt rescue packages,” John Carey at Pioneer Investment Management said on Friday.

Global markets retreated last week after US employers added fewer jobs than forecast and services and manufacturing output in the euro zone shrank more than estimated.

Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg’s estimated fortune dropped by $2.9bn after the firm said it planned to sell 337.4 million shares for $28 to $35 each in an initial public offering next week.

At the upper end of that range, Zuckerberg’s stake would be $17.6bn. His cut of Facebook had been valued at $20.5bn based on trading of the stock in private markets.

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com lost $277m during the week as shares of the largest online retailer fell 1.26 percent in New York. He overtook Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin to become the third-richest technology billionaire after Google shares dropped 2.93 percent.

Larry Ellison, the chief executive of Oracle, lost $969m as the company’s shares fell 2.84 percent in New York trading. He is worth $36.1bn.

Carlos Slim remains the richest man with a net worth of $73.8bn. He was the week’s biggest gainer, adding $818m to his fortune as shares of his cellphone company América Móvil rose 4.77 percent as the company struck a deal with Mexico’s Federal Competition Commission to avoid paying a fine of almost $1bn. The company agreed to cut wireless fees and offer calls to competitors for no extra charge.

Bill Gates ranks second on the list with a net worth of $62.2bn. Behind him is Warren Buffett, who is worth $45.4bn, up $369m during the week.

The Bloomberg Billionaires Index measures the world’s wealthiest people based on market and economic changes and news reports. – Bloomberg

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