It was to be expected.
Jeff Bezos has lost the title of second richest man in the world behind Elon Musk, leader of Tesla in electric vehicles. (TSLA) Executive Chairman.
The founder and executive chairman of online retail and technology giant Amazon (AMZN) dropped to No. 3 at about 10:38 a.m. in New York on Sept. 16, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
At the time, Bezos had an estimated fortune of $145.8 billion compared to the $146.9 billion of Indian tycoon Gautam Adani who ended the day with a fortune of $147 billion, consolidating his second place win in the morning. Bezos has gone up a bit and is also worth about $147 billion.
The day started with Adani at #3 and Bezos at #2.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, only $1 billion separated Bezos from Gautam Adani, the Indian billionaire and chairman of the Adani Group, an industrial conglomerate.
At the time, Bezos’ fortune was valued at $150 billion in this ranking, while Adani’s was estimated at $149 billion.
Since both men’s immense fortunes are based primarily on the shares each holds in their respective companies, it was a safe bet that Adani would overtake Bezos by the end of the day.
The current market volatility, due to fears about the health of the economy in the face of an aggressive rate hike by the Federal Reserve to fight inflation, is weighing particularly heavily on technology groups such as Amazon.
Amazon shares are down about 26% since January. This results in a drop in Bezos’ fortune, which has dropped by $45.5 billion this year.
Adani weather hike
By contrast, Adani is experiencing a meteoric rise. His fortune has increased by $70.3 billion since January.
His compatriot Mukesh Ambani, ranked as the 10th richest person in the world with an estimated fortune of $88.7 billion, was the other top 10 billionaire to see his fortune increase (+$1.02 billion) this year until September 15. But the next day, Ambani, who is chairman and CEO of conglomerate Reliance Industries, lost his gains. Now it’s down $1.3 billion.
Earlier this year, Adani became the richest person in Asia, ahead of Abani.
The rest of the top 10 are also in red.
Musk’s fortune, the world’s richest man, has fallen by $6.44 billion to $264 billion.
Bernard Arnault, Chairman and CEO of LVMH, (LVMUY) lost between $40.2 billion and $138 billion.
Scroll to Continue
Bill Gates’ fortune has dropped $26.6 billion to $112 billion.
by Warren Buffett (BRK.A) (BRK.B) is down from $12.7 billion to $96.2 billion.
alphabet (GOOGLE) Co-founder Larry Page has seen his fortune drop by $33.7 billion to $94.7 billion. Sergey Brin, Alphabet’s other co-founder, lost $32.9 billion to $90.6 billion.
Larry Ellison (ORCL) saw his fortune drop from $18.1 billion to $89 billion.
Since becoming the world’s third-richest man in August, Adani has seen his fortune rise by $12 billion, while Bezos’s has lost $3 billion.
Adani’s rise began during the covid-19 pandemic. As of March 2020, his net worth was valued at over $6 billion. Since then, his fortune has increased almost 25-fold.
Given this increase, it’s also not out of the question that by the end of the year, Adani could overtake Musk as the richest person.
A conglomerate built on debt
Adani, 60, is little known in the West.
Born in 1962 in Ahmedabad, western India, Adani came from a modest family of seven children whose father was a small textile merchant.
A self-made executive, Adani started working at the age of 16 at diamond dealer Mahendra Brothers, where he was responsible for grading gemstones.
In 1988 he founded a commodity trading company that would become the Adani conglomerate.
He has grown the group by acquiring companies with debt. The Adani Group has become the most valuable company in India. The company owns mines, ports and power plants; it has a dozen commercial ports and is present in coal, electricity and renewable energies. It has also diversified into airports, data centers and defence.
The Adani group also recently entered the cement sector by buying assets from cement maker Holcim (HCMLY) in India and is also looking to set up an aluminum plant.
Adani Enterprises is the flagship of his empire. In 2021, its turnover was 5.3 billion dollars.
On August 23, the CreditSights subsidiary of Fitch Ratings warned that the conglomerate was “deeply overleveraged” and that “at worst” it could become a debt trap.
But two weeks later, the credit rating firm said it discovered it had made “miscalculations” at two of the Adani group companies. He corrected his report and removed the words “deeply overleveraged”.
“CreditSights’ views have not changed from their original report and we still maintain that the group’s leverage is high,” CreditSights concluded.