Elon Musk's wealth drops by $16.3bn as Tesla stock tanks

The carmaker had its worst stock selloff since it went public ten years ago but is still up 300% this year

Tesla CEO Elon Musk talks to media as he arrives to visit the construction site of the future US electric car giant Tesla, on September 03, 2020 in Gruenheide near Berlin. Tesla builds a compound at the site in Gruenheide in Brandenburg for its first European "Gigafactory" near Berlin. / AFP / Odd ANDERSEN

Elon Musk’s net worth plunged $16.3 billion (Dh60bn) Tuesday, the largest single-day wipeout in the history of the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, as the Tesla rout continued.

The electric-carmaker fell 21 per cent in New York trading – the most ever – on news of a partnership between competitors Nikola and General Motors, deepening a selloff that began last week after it was snubbed for inclusion in the S&P 500 Index.

The world’s wealthiest people have seen wild swings in their net worths lately as retail traders accelerate buying and selling in stocks.

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos lost $7.9bn Tuesday, while Zhong Shanshan added more than $30bn to his fortune – making him the third-richest person in China – after shares of the bottled-water

company he founded surged following an initial public offering.

Shares of Nongfu Spring, whose red-capped bottles are sold across China everywhere from mom-and-pop snack stalls to high-end hotels, jumped 54 per cent in its Hong Kong debut, pushing Mr Zhong’s fortune to $50.9bn. After opening lower, the stock was up 3.5 per cent as of 10:38 a.m. local time on Wednesday.

Mr Musk’s loss and Mr Zhong’s gain are the largest moves in the history of the Bloomberg index, excluding net worth revisions for divorce, redistribution and inheritances.

Mr Musk’s drop would have been even larger if he hadn’t collected his third tranche of options Tuesday – now worth $2.2bn – tied to his moonshot compensation package.

Mr Musk, who is now worth $82.3bn, fell behind Bernard Arnault for fifth on the list of the world’s richest people.

The Tesla chief executive briefly joined the rarefied centibillionaire club last month, thanks to his audacious pay package and a nearly 500 per cent rally in Tesla shares from January to the end of August.