Elon Musk becomes the world's fourth-richest person with $7.8bn boost to personal wealth

Mr Musk’s $84.8bn fortune puts him within $15bn of Mark Zuckerberg, who is number three on the ranking of the world’s 500 richest people

FILE PHOTO: Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk speaks at an opening ceremony for Tesla China-made Model Y program in Shanghai, China January 7, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo
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Elon Musk’s financial upswing shows no signs of slowing.

The outspoken entrepreneur is now the world’s fourth-richest person after Tesla shares surged 11 per cent on Monday, closing at a record high and boosting Mr Musk’s net worth by $7.8 billion (Dh28.63bn).

The rise vaulted the Tesla co-founder past French luxury tycoon Bernard Arnault, the wealthiest non-American on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Mr Musk’s $84.8bn fortune puts him within $15bn of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, number three on the ranking of the world’s 500 richest people.

Monday’s Tesla rally is just the latest triumph for the billionaire, who only two years ago was sued by the US Securities and Exchange Commission and had to resign as chairman of the electric car maker over rogue tweets. Tesla shares are up 339 per cent this year, fueled by growing anticipation that the company will be included in the S&P 500 Index.

Mr Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, or SpaceX as it is known, is poised to potentially pad his fortune further. The company is close to finalising $2bn in new funding that would increase its equity valuation to $46bn.

Mr Musk’s fortune has grown by $57.2bn this year, the second-biggest increase on the index after Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s. The world’s richest man has accumulated $73bn in 2020 and is now worth $188bn.

Tech shares have been on a tear this year as the Covid-19 pandemic drove more people online, lifting the fortunes of the companies’ founders and putting the industry under increased scrutiny. Mr Zuckerberg became a centi-billionaire this month, joining Mr Bezos and Bill Gates, the second-wealthiest person on Earth.