For the first time ever, Bill Gates has been ranked below No. 2 in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The seven-year old index, that gives the daily ranking of the richest people in the world based on their networth analysis, saw French tycoon Bernard Arnault overtake the Microsoft Corp co-founder in ranking, earlier this week.
Arnault's multinational luxury goods conglomerate LVMH (a merger of renowned brands Louis Vuitton and Moët Hennessy) saw its share prices rise to a record high in Paris, pushing the billionaire's networth to $108 billion, ahead of Gates' networth of $107 billion.
Amazon Inc's founder, Jeff Bezos remains the richest person in the world with a networth of $124 billion, recorded this week.
According to Bloomberg data, Arnault added $39 billion to his fortune in 2019, the highest individual gain among the 500 people on its billionaire index listing.
In the previous month, the 70-year old he joined Gates and Bezos as the only people in the world to have a networth exceeding $100 billion.
This year has been particularly good for French billionaires, who saw they wealth grow more than twice the pace of American and Chinese billionaires. François Pinault of the retail conglomerate Kering and L'Oréal's Françoise Bettencourt Meyers added a combined wealth of $57 billion this year.
Apart from the Bernard Arnault's ruthless acquisitions to build one of the biggest luxury group in the world, LVMH has also been quick in expanding its presence across the world. There are around 70 brand owned by the conglomerate including Marc Jacobs, Christian Dior, TAG Heuer and Fenty Beauty by singer Rihanna.
The key to its increased revenue in the recent months has been China's rising taste for luxury spending. The Chinese consumers have been one of the major contributes to LVMH's total sales.
Meanwhile, Bill Gates' continued commitment to give away his fortune to charity has also brought his wealth down. Through his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, he has given away $45 billion in wealth for combating global poverty.