It was to be expected.
Jeff Bezos lost the title of the second richest man in the world behind Elon Musk, the head of electric vehicles Tesla. (TSLA) chief executive.
He is the founder and executive chairman of the technology and online retail giant Amazon (AMZN) dropped to No. 3, on September 16 at about 10:38 in New York, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
At that time, Bezos had an estimated fortune of $145.8 billion compared to $146.9 billion for Indian tycoon Gautam Adani who finished the day with a fortune of $147 billion, consolidating his second place win this morning. Bezos has grown quite a bit and is also worth around $147 billion.
The day started with Adani at No. 3 and Bezos at No. 2.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, only $1 billion separated Bezos from Gautam Adani, the Indian billionaire and chairman of the Adani Group, an industrial conglomerate.
Bezos’ fortune was then valued at $150 billion in this ranking, while Adani was estimated at $149 billion.
Since it is in the shares that each person has in their respective company that the great fortune of the two men lies, it is a safe bet that Adani Bezos will overtake by the end of the day.
The current volatility in the markets — due to concerns about the health of the economy in the face of aggressive rate hikes by the Federal Reserve to fight inflation — is weighing particularly heavily on technology groups such as Amazon.
Amazon stock is down about 26% since January. That represents a drop in Bezos’ fortune, which has dropped by $45.5 billion this year.
Adani’s Meteoric Rise
Conversely, Adani has had a meteoric rise. His fortune has increased by $70.3 billion since January.
His countryman, Mukesh Ambani, the tenth richest person in the world with an estimated fortune of $88.7 billion, was the next top 10 billionaire who saw an increase in his fortune (+$1.02 billion) this year until September 15. But the day later, Ambani, who is the chairman and managing director of the Reliance Industries conglomerate, lost his gains. It is now down $1.3 billion.
At the beginning of the year, Adani became the richest person in Asia, ahead of Ambani.
The rest of the top 10 are also in the red.
The fortune of Musk, the richest man in the world, decreased by $6.44 billion to $264 billion.
Bernard Arnault, chairman and CEO of LVMH, (LVMUY) lost $40.2 billion to $138 billion.
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Bill Gates’ fortune is down $26.6 billion to $112 billion.
Warren Buffett (BRK.A) (BRK.B) a decrease of $12.7 billion to $96.2 billion.
Alphabet (GOOGLE) Co-founder Larry Page fell $33.7 billion to $94.7 billion. Sergey Brin, another Alphabet co-founder, lost $32.9 billion to $90.6 billion.
Larry Ellison (ORCL) his fortune fell from $18.1 billion to $89 billion.
Since becoming the world’s third richest man in August, Adani has seen his fortune increase by $12 billion, while Bezos has lost $3 billion.
Adani’s expansion began during the covid-19 pandemic. As of March 2020, his net worth was valued at over $6 billion. Since then, his fortune has increased by almost 25%.
Given that increase, I have no doubt that by the end of the year Adani could overtake Musk as the richest person.
Conglomerate Built on Debt
Adani, 60, is not well known in the West.
Adani was born in 1962 in Ahmedabad in western India, from a modest family of seven children whose father was a small textile merchant.
A self-made executive, Adani started working at the age of 16 at diamond dealer Mahendra Brothers, where he was responsible for sorting precious stones.
In 1988 he founded a commodity trading firm that would become the Adani conglomerate.
He grew the group by acquiring companies with debt. Adani group has become the most valuable company in India. The company maintains mines, ports and power stations; it has a dozen commercial ports and has coal, electricity and renewable energy. It has also diversified into airports, data centers and defence.
The Adani group also recently entered the cement sector by buying the assets of cement maker Holcim (HCMLY) in India and also wants to set up an aluminum plant.
Adani Enterprises is the flagship of his empire. In 2021, its turnover was $5.3 billion.
On August 23, CreditSights subsidiary of Fitch Ratings warned that the conglomerate was “heavily overleveraged” and could “in the worst case” enter a debt trap.
But two weeks later the credit rating firm said it had discovered it had made “calculation errors” in two of the Adani Group companies. He corrected his report and removed the words “significantly over-leveraged.”
“CreditSights views have not changed since its original report and we maintain that the group’s leverage is elevated,” CreditSights said.