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Elon Musk loses ranking as world’s second-richest person as Tesla value drops

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<p>SpaceX founder and Tesla CEO Elon Musk visits the construction site of Tesla's gigafactory in Gruenheide, near Berlin</p> (REUTERS)

SpaceX founder and Tesla CEO Elon Musk visits the construction site of Tesla's gigafactory in Gruenheide, near Berlin


Elon Musk has lost his ranking as the world’s second-richest person after his recent statement on Tesla no longer accepting bitcoin as payment sent his fortunes tumbling down 24 per cent from its highest in January.

The tech mogul, who held the second spot at the Bloomberg Billionaires Index since March, has been outstripped by Bernard Arnault, chairman of the world’s biggest luxury goods group LVMH.

The billionaire’s company Tesla has taken a hit in its stock value by 2.2 per cent on top of last week’s 15 per cent slump, in consistent with the global rout in technology stocks.

The wealth of Mr Arnault, who heads the French luxury conglomerate Moët Hennessy - Louis Vuitton, was pegged at $161bn, only behind Mr Bezos who is worth $190bn. Mr Musk’s fortune stood at $160.6 billion.

Mr Musk was already on the third spot on Forbes Real-Time Billionaires List since mid-April but still held the second spot at Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Investors appear to be feeling more bullish after he publicly become more skeptical about bitcoin in recent days.

He initially suggested that Tesla could have sold its vast bitcoin holdings, plunging Bitcoin as much as 15 per cent last week. He later denied it, which helped the price steady but not recover.

The billionaire also announced that he is working with developers of the Shiba Inu-themed meme coin to improve transaction efficiencies.

“To clarify speculation, Tesla has not sold any Bitcoin,” Mr Musk said in a comment on Twitter. His clarification came after price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies plunged to negative after he publicly soured on bitcoin and said Tesla would stop accepting it in payment for cars.

The decision was made on the heels of fears about the climate impact of cryptocurrency.

The 49-years-old’s wealth has plunged to about 9.1 billion this year, making it the highest drop among US billionaires according to Bloomberg’s wealth index. But Mr Arnault, 72, added the most wealth, with his wealth rising by almost $47 billion.

He also became the world’s richest person in January for a brief time after Tesla’s unrelenting shares surged almost 750 per cent last year despite pandemic. He overtook Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates for the first time.

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