French billionaire Bernard Arnault overtakes Bill Gates as world’s second-richest person


LVMH chair Bernard Arnault speaks at the Viva Technology conference in June 2017 in Paris, France

Chesnot | Getty Images

Bernard Arnault, chairman and CEO of luxury goods brand LVMH, has overtaken Bill Gates to be named the world’s second-wealthiest person by Forbes.

According to Forbes’ Real-Time Billionaires List, the French businessman added an estimated $2.8 billion to his fortune over the past day, meaning his net worth increased by 2.7% to a total $107.6 billion.

That puts Arnault behind only Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, whose net worth sits at $110.5 billion, according to the list.

Gates, meanwhile, has a net worth of $107 billion, Forbes’ list shows.

However, Arnault is still behind both Bezos and Gates on Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index, which estimates his net worth at $103 billion, compared to the Microsoft co-founder’s $110 billion.

According to Bloomberg’s ranking, which is updated at the end of every trading day in New York, Arnault has added more than $34 billion to his personal wealth so far this year.

In June, Arnault crossed the $100 billion threshold to become the third-richest person in the world, Bloomberg’s analysis showed. A month later, he temporarily overtook Gates in both Bloomberg and Forbes’ rankings, and he knocked Gates from Forbes’ second-place position for a day earlier this month.

Arnault is the majority stakeholder in LVMH — the owner of luxury brands including Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Moet & Chandon — which confirmed on Monday it’s set to buy Tiffany & Co. in a deal worth $16.2 billion.

Forbes’ real-time wealth tracker updates individuals’ rankings based on their fortunes and public holdings, with public holdings — such as shares in a company — updated every five minutes when stock markets are open.

LVMH shares gained on Monday after its acquisition of Tiffany’s was announced, and the company’s stock was also trading higher during the European session on Tuesday.

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