Coronavirus Hits Billionaires In The Pocket

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The fortunes of the wealthiest global billionaires have bombed as stock markets have plunged into the red due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Luxury brands owner Bernard Arnault has suffered the worst as his company markets in China and the Asia Pacific have fallen away as the deadly virus spreads, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index

His brands include Louis Vuitton leather goods, TAG Heuer watches and Dom Perignon champagne.

Arnault’s wealth has plummeted $41 billion this year – a loss of 39% from a high of $105 billion.

But it’s hardly a riches to rags story, as the 71-year-old self-made billionaire is still comfortable left with a fortune of $64 and he remains the richest man in France and the fourth richest in the world.

Amazon delivers for CEO Jeff Bezos

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos still heads the rankings of the world’s wealthiest.

He has lost just $2 billion this year as Amazon launches a global expansion program to hire tens of thousands of staff to cope with a home delivery bonanza sparked by fears of catching the coronavirus.

His total net worth stands at $112 billion – equal to 0.5% of US GDP and 2.3% of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world.

Bezos is followed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates in second place and investment guru Warren Buffett in third.

Both have seen $15 billion wiped off their fortunes in recent weeks.

Branson cuts staff but sits on $5 billion fortune

Gates now has to get past somehow on a cash pile of $97.8 billion, while Buffett is toughing it out with $73.6 billion.

Another billionaire have a rough time is Virgin Atlantic mogul Richard Branson, who coming in at 303 in the billionaire rich list with a fortune of $5.15 billion, has not done his reputation any good by running cap in hand to the British government for a multibillion hand out to keep flying during the coronavirus travel shut down.

Hundreds of his staff are facing an enforced eight week leave of absence with no pay which many feel he could afford to carry without noticing from his cash pile in the bank.

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