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Elon Musk overtakes Bill Gates to grab world’s second-richest ranking

Elon Musk is now the world’s second-richest person, passing Bill Gates

Elon Musk’s year of dizzying ascents hit a new apex on Monday (US time) as the Tesla co-founder passed Bill Gates to become the world’s second-richest person.

The 49-year-old entrepreneur’s net worth soared $US7.2 billion to $US127.9 billion ($175 billion), driven by yet another surge in Tesla’s share price.

Musk has added $US100.3 billion to his net worth this year, the most of anyone on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a ranking of the world’s 500 richest people. In January he ranked 35th.

His advance up the wealth ranks has been driven largely by Tesla, whose market value is approaching $500 billion. About three-quarters of his net worth is comprised of Tesla shares, which are valued more than four times as much as his stake in Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX.

Musk’s milestone marks only the second time in the index’s eight-year history that Microsoft co-founder Gates has ranked lower than number two.

He held the top spot for years before being bumped by Amazon.com. founder Jeff Bezos in 2017. Gates’s net worth of $127.7 billion would be much higher had he not donated so prodigiously to charity over the years. He has given more than $27 billion to his namesake foundation since 2006.

The year has been a lucrative one for the world’s richest people. Despite the pandemic and widespread layoffs that have disproportionately affected the world’s working class and poor, the members of the Bloomberg index have collectively gained 23% – or $1.3 trillion – since the year began.

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