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The world’s 40 richest people lost a combined $17 billion this 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 fell by $775 million during the week as shares of his Nevada-based Las Vegas Sands Corp. dropped 3.11 per cent through May 4. The 78-year-old is the 11th richest person in the world, with a net worth of $24.8 billion, 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, who helps oversee about $220 billion at Pioneer Investment Management Inc., said in a telephone interview from his Boston office.
Global markets retreated this week after U.S. employers added fewer jobs than forecast and services and manufacturing output in the euro region shrank more than estimated. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 2.44 per cent to 1,369.10, its worst weekly decline of the year. The STOXX Europe 600 lost 2.36 per cent to close at 253.00.
Facebook Inc. co-founder Mark Zuckerberg’s estimated fortune dropped $2.9 billion after the company said it planned to sell 337.4 million shares for $28 to $35 each in an initial public offering May 17. At the upper end of that range, Zuckerberg’s stake would be $17.6 billion.
Zuckerberg’s cut of Facebook, the world’s most popular social-networking site, had been valued at $20.5 billion based on trading of the company’s stock in private markets.
The 27-year-old will sell 30.2 million shares in the public offering, according to a regulatory filing. Most of the proceeds will be used to pay taxes associated with the exercising of 60 million Facebook options. He ranks 36th on the index.
“However the IPO plays out, it will crystallize Zuckerberg’s personal net worth,” Jack Ablin, chief investment officer of Chicago-based Harris Private Bank, said in a telephone interview. “He’s now set to become Silicon Valley’s next big billionaire.”
Three candy heirs joined the index this week. Forrest E. Mars Jr., John Mars and Jacqueline Mars each own one-third of Mars Inc., the world’s second-largest confectionery, which they inherited from their father, Forrest Mars Sr. Each is worth $19.6 billion.
Iris Fontbona, the matriarch of Chile’s richest family, lost $1.6 billion during the week after shares of copper producer Antofagasta Plc, the family’s most valuable holding, fell 11 per cent.
The company announced May 3 it experienced a 13 per cent drop in first-quarter output from the previous three months because of a disruption at its Esperanza mine in northern Chile. Fontbona is worth $17.3 billion.
Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com, the largest web retailer, lost $277 million during the week as shares of the world’s largest online retailer fell 1.26 per cent in New York. The 48-year-old overtook Google Inc. founders Larry Page, 39, and Sergey Brin, 38, to become the third-richest technology billionaire after Google shares dropped 2.93 per cent.
Larry Ellison, 67, chief executive officer of Redwood City, California-based Oracle Corp., lost $969 million as the company’s shares fell 2.84 per cent in New York trading. He is worth $36.1 billion.
Carlos Slim, 72, remains the world’s richest man with a net worth of $73.8 billion. He was the week’s biggest gainer, adding $818 million to his fortune as shares of his mobile-phone company America Movil SAB rose 4.77 per cent as the company struck a deal with Mexico’s Federal Competition Commission to avoid paying a fine of almost $1 billion. The company agreed to cut wireless fees and offer calls to competitors for no extra change.
Bill Gates, 56, ranks second on the list with a net worth of $62.2 billion. Behind him is Warren Buffett, 81, who is worth $45.4 billion, up $369 million during the week. The Berkshire Hathaway chairman is preparing for the company’s annual shareholder’s meeting in Omaha, Nebraska this weekend.
Ingvar Kamprad, the 85-year-old founder of the Ikea retail empire, is Europe’s richest man with an estimated net worth of $41.7 billion. Kamprad maintains control over the business through a network of holding companies and legal entities established more than 30 years ago.
World’s Tallest Tower
Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s fortune has increased 18.2 per cent, or $3.2 billion, this year, as shares of his Kingdom Holding Co., a diversified investment group that is planning to build the world’s tallest tower, rose 36.2 per cent year-to-date. The 57-year-old ranks 25th on the index with a net worth of $20.5 billion.
The Bloomberg Billionaires Index takes measure of the world’s wealthiest people based on market and economic changes and Bloomberg News reporting. Each net worth figure is updated every business day at 5:30 p.m. in New York and listed in U.S. dollars.
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