The world’s 400 wealthiest individuals shed USD 19 bil in 2015, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Falling commodities prices and signs of a slower-growing China spooked investors around the world leading to the first annual decline for the daily wealth index since its 2012 debut.
Mexican telecommunications mogul Carlos Slim was the biggest decliner on the index at the close of trading in New York on Dec. 28, as his America Movil SAB dropped 25% in 2015. U.S. investor Warren Buffett, the world’s third-richest person, lost USD 11.3 bil as Berkshire Hathaway Inc. had its first negative annual return since 2011. Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates, the world’s richest person since May 2013, fell by USD 3 bil during the year.
The year’s top-gainer was Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos. The New Mexico-born billionaire more than doubled his fortune to $59 billion as investors cheered profits at the world’s largest online retailer.
The world’s 400 richest people control a combined USD 3.9 tril, according to the index, more than the GDP of every country on Earth except for the U.S., China and Japan. At their peak on May 18, the billionaires had almost USD 4.3 tril, according to Bloomberg.