The world’s richest man, Bill Gates, and founder of social networking site, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, have collectively lost $3.4 billion to the decision of Britons to leave the European Union (EU).
In the fallout of the Brexit vote on global economy, both men were the worst hit billionaires in the United States, losing $1.8 billion and $1.6 billion respectively.
The amount lost by Gates alone is more than the entire wealth of Nigeria’s richest woman, Folorunsho Alakija. According to Forbes, Alakija is worth $1.73 billion.
Africa and Nigeria’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, ranked number 70 on the Forbes list with a net worth of $12.5 billion, also lost $505.3 million.
While the world’s billionaires have been suffering losses, oil prices rose to $48 a barrel yesterday as investors took advantage of a two-day slide in crude triggered by Brexit vote.
The vote’s impact on oil, despite sending global stocks and currencies spiralling, has so far been limited due to expectations of strong summer demand in Asia and the United States, and tightening supplies after a two-year rout.
According to Bloomberg Billionaires ranking, global markets erased another $69.2 billion from the combined net worth of the world’s 400 richest people on the first trading day of the week after the Brexit vote, bringing total loss to $196.2 billion in 48 hours.
Monday’s loss was felt most by Europe’s wealthiest, as collectively, 92 billionaires lost $29.4 billion, bringing their two-day decline to $81.7 billion.
One hundred and fifty billionaires from the US and Canada lost $26.7 billion on Monday, and recorded a two-day total of $62.5 billion.
Also, China’s 26 billionaires lost $1 billion on Monday, bringing their two-day total loss to $5 billion, with a 7.4 percent ($18.7 billion) decline in 2016.
Germany’s third-richest person, Georg Schaeffler, fared the worst on the index Monday with a loss of $1.9 billion from his net worth.
Europe’s richest person, a Spanish retailer, Amancio Ortega, also lost $1.5 billion.
While others lost, 69 billionaires on the list made some gains from the Brexit vote.
Founder of Osaka-based Keyence, a maker of electronic sensors, Takemitsu Takizaki, led the gainers with an increase of $579.3 million. Tadashi Yanai, Japanese retailer and chairman of Tokyo-based Fast Retailing Co., recorded the second highest addition to his fortune with a rise of $552 million. Nineteen billionaires on the index added more than $100 million on Monday.
Global markets erased another $69.2 billion from the combined net worth of the world’s 400 richest people on Monday, bringing the total since the UK shocked investors with a vote to leave the EU to $196.2 billion in the last two trading days.
The billionaires on the index control $3.8 trillion, a 1.8 per cent decline from the start of the year, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Meanwhile, a looming strike at several Norwegian oil and gas fields which threatened to cut output in Western Europe’s biggest producer also helped support prices on Tuesday.
Brent crude futures were up 2.5 per cent, or $1.17, at $48.33 per barrel at 1116 GMT. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were 2.6 per cent higher, up $1.22 at $47.55 a barrel.
A report by industry monitor, Genscape, that showed a 1.3 million barrel fall in crude inventories at the benchmark’s pricing hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, added further support, brokerage PVM said.
Sterling and London’s FTSE 100 stock market index also rose on hopes of a coordinated central bank response to financial market losses.
“Oil is recovering on some bargain hunting after the drop below $47 a barrel proved unsustainable and news of a possible strike in Norwegian oil and gas industry,” said Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch.
He said the turmoil in Europe was not expected to have a “meaningful impact on the physical global supply and demand balances.”
Over its two previous sessions, oil fell more than seven per cent to seven-week lows as the Brexit vote cooled investor appetite for volatile commodities such as oil.
A strike in Norway, which could start on Saturday, would add to a number of production outages in oil-producing countries including Nigeria.
Still, news that a successful ceasefire in Nigeria had allowed repairs to oil pipelines weighed on the market, ANZ Bank said.
Oil production in Nigeria has risen to about 1.9 million barrels per day from 1.6 million.
Prime Minister, David Cameron, said yesterday that he did not regret holding the referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU despite the surprise victory for the campaign to leave the bloc.
“Of course I regret the outcome but I don’t regret holding the referendum, it was the right thing to do,” Cameron told reporters in Brussels after an EU summit.