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Elon Musk now world’s second wealthiest person

The South African-born Musk, 49, added US$7.2 billion in wealth yesterday alone following Tesla’s latest surge. He now has an estimated US$128 billion. — AFP pic

NEW YORK, Nov 24 — Elon Musk, the charismatic chief of electric automaker Tesla, has overtaken Bill Gates to become the world’s second richest person, according to the Bloomberg list of billionaires.

The South African-born Musk, 49, added US$7.2 billion (RM29.4 billion) in wealth yesterday alone following Tesla’s latest surge. He now has an estimated US$128 billion.

The outspoken Musk, who is also co-founder of SpaceX, had already overtaken numerous luminaries in recent weeks, including Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg and Bernard Arnault, the head of French luxury giant LVMH.

Now the only person he stands behind is Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, whose wealth is estimated at US$182 billion.

The upheaval of the coronavirus pandemic has allowed the ultra-rich to amass even more wealth as technology companies have gobbled up more market share of the economy.

In 2020, Tesla shares have surged more than 500 per cent and the company is now valued at more than US$500 billion.

Musk, who owns about 18 per cent of the shares, has made some US$100 billion during this stretch.

Tesla shares have gained further since the presidential election of Joe Biden, who favours more aggressive policies to address climate change. Tesla was also boosted by an announcement that it is being added to the prestigious S&P 500 index. — AFP

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