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Wealth of world’s top 10 billionaires doubled during COVID-19 pandemic; here’s how the rich got richer

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The world’s richest 10 have seen their wealth double to $1.5 trillion since the beginning of COVID-19, widening the inequality gap between the rich and the poor. This, when the incomes of 99 percent of the world’s total population went down during March 2020 and October 2021.

Wealth of world’s top 10 billionaires doubled during COVID-19 pandemic; here’s how the rich got richer

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world’s richest 10 have seen their global wealth double to $1.5 trillion, widening the inequality gap between the rich and the poor, The Guardian reported quoting Oxfam data.

As the ultra-rich reaped gains from the stimulus packages provided by governments around the world, 163 million more people were pushed below the poverty line, Oxfam reported quoting data from the World Bank.

The year 2021 also saw increased investor interest in stock prices that have boosted the fortunes of some tech titans.

Despite the pandemic, investors realised that big tech companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Facebook parent Meta Platforms would continue to do well, Bloomberg quoted Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott, as saying. These companies with strong balance sheets showed growth in profits and had competitive moats that protected them from the risks in 2021, he added.

The wealth of Tesla founder Elon Musk and nine other billionaires grew at the pace of $1.3 billion a day between March 2020 and October 2021 when the incomes of 99 percent of the world’s total population went down, the charitable organisation said. Here’s a look at how much the 10 super rich made during the pandemic.

Elon Musk

Electric carmaker Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk witnessed a 10-fold rise in his wealth in the first 20 months of the pandemic from $24.6 billion in March 2020, according to figures from Forbes magazine. His current net wealth stands at $294.2 billion. Musk has been on a share sale spree in his electric car company since November 8, partly to pay a massive tax bill that is expected to be about $11 billion. Meanwhile, Tesla began the year with a bang on the back of record quarterly deliveries that exceeded Wall Street estimates and a rise in production, overcoming the chip shortage.

Jeff Bezos

Amazon founder Jezz Bezos’s net wealth soared 67 percent to $202.6 billion in the 20 months of the COVID-19 pandemic from $113 billion in March 2020. In July 2021, Amazon’s shares witnessed a strong rally after the Pentagon cancelled a cloud-computing contract with rival Microsoft. Stocks rallied on the expectation that Pentagon would split the work between Microsoft and rival Amazon.

Bernard Arnault and family

The Bernard Arnault family has an empire of 70 brands, including Louis Vuitton and Sephora. The family saw their wealth grow 130 percent to $187.7 billion from $76 billion in March 2020.

Bill Gates

Compared to the exponential rise in fortunes of the other nine, Microsoft founder Bill Gates saw his wealth grow by a modest 31 percent from about $98 billion at the start of the pandemic to $137.4 billion after 20 months.

Larry Ellison

Co-founder and former CEO of Oracle Corporation Larry Ellison saw his wealth grow 99 percent from $59 billion in March 2020 to $125.7 billion at present.

Larry Page

Google co-founder Larry Page’s net wealth soared to $122.8 billion, up 125 percent from $50.9 billion almost two years ago.

Sergey Brin

The other co-founder of Google was worth $49.1 billion before the COVID-19 pandemic, which has now become $118.3 billion in 20 months.

Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, formerly known as Facebook, saw his wealth double to almost $118 billion from $54.7 billion earlier. Meta, in which Zuckerberg has a 13 percent stake, has grown in value by over 20 percent in 2021.

Steve Ballmer

Former CEO of Microsoft Steve Ballmer saw his net wealth grow 85 percent during the pandemic from $52.7 billion in March 2020 to $104.4 billion now.

Warren Buffett

Legendary investor Warren Buffett saw his wealth soar by a modest 40 percent to $101.5 billion from $67.5 billion before the pandemic.

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