World’s richest 400 people lose $305bn in one month

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The Independent Online

The world’s wealthiest people have lost hundreds of billions of dollars between them in less than three weeks.

In what amounts to the biggest losses in at least three years, the planet's 400 richest people saw $350bn wiped off their combined net worth this month.

Bloomberg Business reports that the downfall of global equities has contributed to the billionaires’ losses, fostering concern that worldwide growth is stumbling.

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the billionaires saw more than $115bn slip out of their hands this week alone, with seven of them losing more than $1bn on Friday. Inc. founder Jeff Bezos reportedly topped the Bloomberg index list, losing out on $8.9bn since the start of the month, and a further $1.9bn on Friday.

Bill Gates lost $6.8bn of his net worth, while China’s richest man, Wang Jianlin, is down by $6.4bn.

Some of the losses are due to the Dow Jones sinking 391 points as well as European stocks falling into a “bear market” that has seen the prices of securities fall.

The Shangai Composite Index also took a turn, wiping out gains from an unexpected state-rescue campaign and falling into a bear market for the second time in seven months.

Stock markets have been falling because of a fresh drop in oil prices, which have declined to below the $30-a-barrel mark for the first time in 12 years, reports the Financial Times.

The sharp collapse is partly due to the new influx of supplies from Iran, whose economy has been opened up thanks to lifted nuclear sanctions.

Just nine of the 400 billionaires have actually seen their net worth increase this year.

Indian oil billionaire Mukesh Ambani, chariman of Mumbai-based Reliance Industries Ltd., led the way with an additional $620m to his net worth.

The combined net worth of these 400 billionaires hit a peak on May 2015, with $4.3 trillion, which has declined by 16 per cent since then.