Musk is no longer world’s 2nd richest person as Tesla shares fall

By Sayujya S, Desk Reporter
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Tesla Elon Musk
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American billionaire Elon Musk has an undeniable power in the business world. His Twitter posts can send the prices of cryptocurrencies tumbling or spiking to an all time high. But it looks like his own fortune is not safe from these fluctuations.

Recently, the chief executive officer of US-based electric vehicle and battery maker Tesla lost his spot as the world’s second-richest person to French luxury brand LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton) Chairman Bernard Arnault as the former’s shares fell 2.2 percent. That was on top of last week’s slump amid a global fall in technology stocks and fresh signs of trouble in its China business.

Musk and Cryptocurrencies

Mr. Musk, who held the top spot in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index as recently as March, now has a fortune of $160.6 billion, down 24 percent from its January high.

The drop follows a turbulent period for Mr. Musk, who sent Bitcoin tumbling as much as 15 percent last week after posting a statement on Twitter that Tesla was no longer accepting the digital currency as payment. He also helped to up Dogecoin prices after tweeting he’s working with developers of the Shiba Inu-themed token to improve transaction efficiencies.

Over the weekend, Mr. Musk wreaked havoc again when he seemed to imply that Tesla may sell or has sold its Bitcoin holdings before later clarifying in a tweet that the company had done no such thing.

Fluctuating wealth

Mr. Musk became the world’s richest person in January after Tesla’s shares surged almost 750 percent last year amid a boom in technology-driven stocks. Despite reporting record first-quarter profit, the company’s shares have since fallen by about a fifth amid a global semiconductor shortage and increasing competition from traditional automakers.

His fortune has dropped about $9.1 billion this year, the most among US-based billionaires tracked by Bloomberg’s wealth index.

Meanwhile, Mr. Arnault has added the most, with his net worth climbing by almost $47 billion to $161.2 billion as sales of his firm’s luxury goods surge in China and other parts of Asia.

Related: Musk’s decision on bitcoin pleases some Tesla investors