September 20, 2020

World’s richest add $92bn to their wealth in 2014

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imageFrom The Irish Times

Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma was the biggest winner adding $25bn to his fortune

Billionaire Jack Ma, the 50-year-old founder of China’s biggest e-commerce company Alibaba, saw added $25bn to his fortune. (Photograph: Ashley Pon/Bloomberg)

The richest people on Earth got richer in 2014, adding $92 billion to their collective fortune in the face of falling energy prices and geopolitical turmoil incited by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The net worth of the world’s 400 wealthiest billionaires on December 29th stood at $4.1 trillion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a daily ranking of the world’s richest.

The biggest gainer was Jack Ma, the co-founder of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., China’s largest e-commerce company. Ma, a former English teacher who started the Hangzhou-based company in his apartment in 1999, added $25.1 billion to his fortune, riding a 56 per cent surge in the company’s shares since its September initial public offering. Ma, 50, with a $28.7 billion fortune, briefly passed Li Ka-shing as Asia’s richest person.

Davy said John Lydon had “driven Deutsche to be the number one IPO house in Asia in three years”. Photograph: Reuters Davy hires Alibaba’s IPO adviser

President Higgins with Jack Ma, chief executive of Alibaba. Photograph: Shane O’Neill / Fennell Photography President Higgins meets Alibaba chief executive Jack Ma

Jack Ma: founder and executive chairman of Alibaba and recently named Asia’s richest man. Photograph: Daniel J. Groshong/Bloomberg President Higgins’s visit ensures access for Irish companies

The business stories that made the news in 2014

“I am nothing but happy when young people from China do well,” Li, 86, said through his spokeswoman in Hong Kong.

Global stocks rose in 2014, with the MSCI World Index advancing 4.3 percent during the year to close at 1,731.71 on Dec. 29. The Standard and Poor’s 500 Index rose 13 percent to close at 2,090.57. The Stoxx Europe 600 gained 4.9 percent to close at 344.27.

Two of the year’s other biggest gainers were Warren Buffett and Mark Zuckerberg of the US. Buffett, the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., added $13.7 billion to his net worth after the Omaha, Nebraska-based company soared 28 percent as the dozens of operating businesses the 84-year-old chairman bought over the past five decades churned out record profit.

Gates, Slim

Buffett passed Mexican telecommunications billionaire Carlos Slim on Dec. 5 to become the world’s second-richest person. Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft Corp., was up $9.1 billion during the year. The 59-year-old remains the world’s richest person with a $87.6 billion fortune. Zuckerberg, the hoodie-wearing chief executive officer of the world’s largest social-networking company, gained $10.6 billion as the Menlo Park, California-based business rose to a record on Dec. 22. This year Facebook made headway in mobile, a business that has flourished as mobile advertising increased and marketing initiatives expanded with applications and video. Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion has also been paying off: A Citigroup Inc. analyst said on Dec. 19 the photo- sharing app is worth $35 billion.

Russia woes

Zuckerberg’s company faced a challenge in Russia, where the blocking of a Facebook page promoting a Russian opposition rally highlighted the challenges the social network faces as Putin cracks down on the Internet amid a looming economic downturn. The European Union and U.S. limited Russian companies’ access to financing to punish Putin after he annexed Crimea in March. Russia’s troubles have been worsened by the corresponding plunge in the price of oil, a bedrock of the country’s economy. Nobody was hit harder than Vladimir Evtushenkov. Once Russia’s 14th-richest person, the 66-year-old lost 80 per cent of his wealth, dropping him from the Bloomberg ranking. He was sentenced to house arrest by a Moscow court in September after a money-laundering investigation connected to the $2.5 billion purchase of shares in oil producer OAO Bashneft. The court also ruled in favor of nationalizing his stake in Bashneft, which he controlled through publicly traded AFK Sistema. Evtushenkov’s fortune has fallen $8.1 billion, the most of any Russian in 2014. Leonid Mikhelson has been the biggest loser in dollar terms among those remaining in the country’s 20 richest, dropping $7.8 billion since the start of the year. The 59-year-old is the chief executive officer of OAO Novatek, Russia’s second-largest natural gas producer, which fell 44 percent during the year. He has a $10.1 billion fortune, according to the Bloomberg ranking.

For more on this story go to: http://www.irishtimes.com/business/personal-finance/world-s-richest-add-92bn-to-their-wealth-in-2014-1.2051954

 

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