Elon Musk set to dethrone Bezos as world’s richest person

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Elon Musk, the entrepreneur behind US-based electric car maker Tesla and SpaceX, the aerospace manufacturing and transport company, is close to surpassing Jeff Bezos to become the world’s richest person.

A 2.8 percent rally in the electric carmaker’s share price boosted Mr. Musk to within $3 billion of eCommerce giant Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos, who currently occupies the top spot on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a ranking of the world’s 500 wealthiest people.

Jeff Bezos’s total wealth as per the Bloomberg Billionaires Index stood at $184 billion. Elon Musk is just below him at number with a total wealth of $181 billion. As chief executive officer of SpaceX, Mr. Musk is also a rival to Mr. Bezos, owner of Blue Origin LLC, in the private space race.

Over the past year, Mr. Musk’s worth soared by more than $150 billion in possibly the fastest wealth creation in history. Contributing to his rise was an unexpected spike in Tesla’s share price, which surged 743 percent in 2020 thanks to consistent profits, inclusion in the S&P 500 Index and enthusiasm from retail investors.

Despite his astronomical gains, the 49-year-old has said he has little interest in material things and has few assets outside his stakes in Tesla and SpaceX. He clarified that the main purpose of his wealth is to accelerate humanity’s evolution into a spacefaring civilization.

Asia’s new richest man

China’s Zhong Shanshan has also set a new wealth record. The chairman of Nongfu Spring Co., a bottled-water company in China, is now richer than the American business tycoon Warren Buffett as his fortune surged $13.5 billion to $91.7 billion since the start of the year. He is now the world’s sixth wealthiest person.

Mr. Zhong dethroned India’s Mukesh Ambani as Asia’s wealthiest person last week. Mukesh Ambani is world’s 13th richest person of the world holding total net worth of $73.9 Billion.

The world’s 500 richest people added a record $1.8 trillion to their combined net worth last year, equivalent to a 31 percent increase. The gains were disproportionately at the top, where five individuals hold fortunes in excess of $100 billion and another 20 are worth at least $50 billion.