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South Africa-born Elon Musk regains top position as world’s richest person

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The Tesla Inc. chief executive officer, who was born in Pretoria, South Africa 51 years ago, surpassed luxury tycoon Bernard Arnault on Wednesday after shares of Arnault’s LVMH fell 2.6% in Paris trading.

Musk and the 74-year-old Frenchman have been neck-and-neck for the top spot this year in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a listing of the world’s 500 richest people.

Arnault first surpassed Musk in December as the tech industry struggled and luxury showed resilience in the face of inflation. LVMH, which Arnault founded, owns brands including Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Hennessy.

Faith in the luxury sector’s buoyancy is starting to fade amid mounting signs of slowing economic growth, particularly in the critical market of China. LVMH shares have tumbled about 10% since April, at one point wiping $11 billion from Arnault’s net worth in a single day.

Musk, meanwhile, has gained more than $55.3 billion this year, largely due to Tesla. The Austin-based automaker — which comprises 71% of his fortune — has rallied 66% year-to-date. Musk’s fortune is now valued at about $192.3 billion, according to the index, while Arnault’s is about $186.6 billion.

Source: bloomberg.com

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