06:26 GMT25 October 2020
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    Amid the economic consequences brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, the fate of the fortunes of the world’s wealthiest people has varied significantly, with some, including the 25 billion richest, adding a total of over $200 billion to their coffers, while others have faced losses of as much as $19 billion.

    The total net worth of the richest Russians in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index (BBI) has dropped by a total of $31.81 billion in the first half of 2020.

    The index, which includes the 500 richest people in the world, presently includes 24 Russian nationals, with net worth calculated on the basis of a net worth analysis for each individual.

    Six Russian billionaires including Alisher Usmanov, Mikhail Prokhorov, Suleiman Kerimov, Vyacheslav Moshe Kantor, Andrey Guryev, and Sergey Galitskiy managed to hold on to and add to their fortunes, increasing their wealth by between $44.4 million and $669 million. The rest faced losses ranging from -$184 million for Dmitry Rybolovlev, a professional investor and football club owner, to -$5.76 billion for Leonid Mikhelson, CEO of Novatek.

    Overall, billionaires from the US and China packed the top ten in terms of YTD net growth in wealth, with Jeff Bezos of Amazon adding $50 billion to his fortune for a total of $165 billion, with e-commerce company Pinduoduo  founder and CEO Colin Huang netting $24.9 billion, more than doubling his wealth to $44.5 billion, and Elon Musk of SpaceX and Tesla adding $24.2 billion for a total of $51.7 billion.

    The biggest losers included Amancio Ortega, a Spanish billionaire and clothing maker best known for the Zara brand of clothing and accessories, who lost $19.4 billion in the crisis, American billionaire investor Warren Buffet, who lost $18.8 billion during the crisis, and Bernard Arnault, the French businessman, art collector, and CEO of luxury goods maker Moet Hennessy – Louis Vuitton.

    Bezos, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Arnault, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and investor Steve Ballmer round out the BBI’s top five richest businessmen.

    In the wake of the coronavirus crisis, the world has been thrust into the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, with an estimated 39 million people in the US alone filing for unemployment since March, and similar trends observed in countries worldwide. Nevertheless, according to a recent Forbes estimate, the world’s top 25 billionaires added $255 billion to their fortunes, with 29 new billionaires emerging in the last three months. Americans for Tax Fairness, a US-based political advocacy group, says these figures may be much higher, with billionaires in the US alone said to have added some $584 billion to their coffers since the start of the pandemic according to the Florida-based group’s calculations.

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