Billionaires list: Elon Musk made $40bn in first 10 days of 2021, Dangote loses $900m in 24 hours

World's richest person, Elon Musk, made about $39.6 billion in just the first 10 days of 2021.

The CEO of Tesla, an electric car company, dethroned Amazon co-founder, Jeff Bezos, on Thursday, January 7, 2021, following a 4.8 percent surge in Tesla’s share price.

The 49-year-old became $188.5 billion rich to clinch the top spot in the world.

Since the news broke that Musk had overtaken Bezos, more investors around the world seem to favour the South Africa-born billionaire, by voting more money into Tesla Inc, which he founded in 2003.

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, at least five billionaires have seen their wealth grow by more than 20 percent in 2021 alone, and Musk is the fourth on that rank.

However, in absolute terms, Musk has seen the biggest jump; his wealth has increased by 23 percent in 2021, giving him an increase of $39.6 billion.

As for his total wealth, Musk is worth more than the annual gross domestic product (GDP) of more than half of the countries in our world today. If he were to be ranked as a country, he would be one of the top 50 countries with the biggest GDPs in the world.

Musk’s wealth has grown majorly on the back of the coronavirus pandemic. The entrepreneur currently leads at least four companies: Tesla Inc., SpaceX, Neuralink, and the Boring Company.

Electric cars are becoming increasingly popular in the world today, and Tesla is a flagship choice among Americans and many lovers of EVs across the world. 

Tesla shares have soared from $60 in 2018 to almost $900 in 2021. Some days to the end of 2020, Tesla shares sold for $658 — representing a 10 fold increase from the previous year.

In the first 10 days of 2021, the same shares have gone from about $699 to $880, moving the company’s market cap from $658 billion to $834 billion in 10 days. The company effectively made $176 billion in about the first trading week of the year.

Musk owns about 20 percent of the company, according to its February 2020 filing reports. This means 20 percent of Tesla’s increased market cap has been added to his wealth. For the record, 20 percent of $176 billion is $35.2 billion.

It is safe to say, $35.2 billion of the $39.6 billion made by Musk in the first 10 days of 2021 came directly from Tesla.

According to Morgan Stanley, the New York-based investment bank, SpaceX valuation nearly doubled in 2020, moving from an estimated $52 billion in July to over $100 billion by October.

The rest of Musk’s rise has come from SpaceX and Neuralink — both companies recorded massive jumps in 2020.

Musk, at $209 billion, is worth about one percent of the GDP of the United States. If Tesla shares maintain the same 2020 rally in 2021, Musk would be worth more than the GDP of Nigeria by the end of 2021.

Meanwhile, Africn's richest man, Aliko Dangote, saw his total net worth drop by $900m on Friday as his flagship company emerged the biggest loser at the end of trading on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

According Bloomberg Billionaires Index, which is a ranking of the world’s 500 richest people, Dangote's wealth fell from $18.4bn on Thursday to $17.5bn on Friday, making him the 114th wealthiest man in the world, down from 106th the previous day.

Dangote’s net worth had risen from $15.5bn on December 13 to close the year 2020 at $17.8bn. It further gained $600m in the first seven days of 2021, but lost all of it and more last Friday.

The share price of Dangote Cement Plc, the country’s biggest listed company and Africa’s largest cement producer, tumbled by 8.13 per cent to close at N225 on Friday from N244.90 on Thursday.

Dangote was the only Nigerian on the list of 500 billionaires and retained his position as Africa’s richest person as of Friday.

“The majority of Dangote’s fortune is derived from his 86 per cent stake in publicly traded Dangote Cement. He holds the shares in the company directly and through his conglomerate, Dangote Industries,” Bloomberg said.

His most valuable closely held asset is a fertiliser plant with capacity to produce up to 2.8 million tonnes of urea annually, according to the international news agency.

“A $12bn oil refinery that is currently being developed in Nigeria isn’t included in the valuation because it’s not yet operational and construction costs are calculated to outweigh its current value,” it said.

For context, as of January 10, 2021, Musk has made more than double Dangote’s $17.5bn wealth in 10 days of 2021.

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