Bernard Arnault Becomes The Richest Person In The World For The Third Time This Week

May, 28, 2021

Forbes: The back-and-forth for the title of the richest person in the world between Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and LVMH chief Bernard Arnault has taken another turn: For the third time this week, Arnault has overtaken Bezos forthe No. 1 spot, with an estimated net worth of $190.1 billion, compared to Bezos’ $188.5 billion as of 12:45 pm ET.

Arnault’s fortune grew by $1.8 billion overnight after LVMH shares closed 1% higher on Thursday in Europe. Amazon shares were trading less than 1% lower at 12:45 pm ET, translating to a nearly $700 million decline in Jeff Bezos’ net worth. Since the beginning of the week, the two men have collectively gotten nearly $7 billion richer.

On Monday morning, Arnault started the week as the richest person on the planet, with $186.3 billion—just $300 million more than Bezos—but Amazon shares picked up after markets opened in New York, and Bezos regained the title within a few hours. The same thing happened on Tuesday: Arnault started the day richer than Bezos, until the Amazon boss quickly retook the lead. It’s a familiar pattern by now: On at least two other occasions since 2019, Arnault has briefly been richer than Bezos before ultimately falling again by the time the markets closed.

Both men have been busy buying and selling shares lately. Arnault bought $657 million worth of LVMH shares between January and May. The stock is up by more than 26% since the start of the year on the back of strong sales of luxury fashion and jewelry in China and the U.S. Meanwhile, Bezos has been selling: Since announcing in February that he would step down as CEO of Amazon later this year, Bezos sold $6.6 billion (pre-tax) worth of the e-commerce giant's shares over three weeks in May. On Wednesday, Bezos announced he will hand over the chief executive reins on July 5.