The biggest billionaire winners, losers of 2018

By Wall StreetFOXBusiness

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Wall Street and investors experienced a volatile 2018; in the span of one year, the Dow climbed to record highs before plummeting once again, rocked by fears about a U.S-China trade war that’s culminated in billions of dollars in tariffs and uncertainty about Britain’s impending withdrawal from the European Union.

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Perhaps nowhere are the gains and losses more evident than among the richest in the world. In total, the 10 biggest winners added a whopping $64 billion to their fortunes over the past year.

Here’s a look at the people who added to their fortune over the course of 2018 – and those who lost billions, according to Forbes.

Biggest winners:

Jeff Bezos: The Amazon CEO added more than $27 billion to his already significant fortune, bringing the total to $127.2 billion. The world’s largest online retailer booked record profits and announced a second headquarters, to be split between New York City and Arlington, Virginia.

Tadashi Yanai: Yanai added $7 billion and is now worth $27.1 billion. That’s largely because shares of his Japanese company Fast Retail Col., have risen by about a third since last December, driven by strong earnings.

Vagit Alekperov: The CEO of the Russian energy company Lukoil gained an extra $4.6 billion this year. He’s now worth $19.5 billion. Lukoil saw a huge surge in profits, thanks to higher oil and gas prices and a weak Russian ruble.

Rupert Murdoch: The media magnate saw a $4.6 billion increase in his net worth, bringing the total to $19.3 billion. Although shares of News Corp., which owns The Wall Street Journal and The New York Post, declined, the stock of 21st Century Fox jumped ahead of a huge merger with Disney. 21st Century Fox is the parent company of FOX Business.

Leonid Mikhelson: Another Russian billionaire, Mikhelson’s fortune jumped $4 billion to $21.4 billion. He heads Novatek, a Russian gas company that likewise saw record gains because of higher domestic prices and growing international demand.

Gennady Timchenko: Timchenko’s net worth increased by nearly $4 billion to $18.9 billion over the course of 2018, thanks to his significant stake in Novatek and Sibur, a private petrochemicals company.

Steve Ballmer: The former Microsoft CEO said earlier this year that he’s held onto his stake in the company, which saw a 20 percent rise in its shares this year. Ballmer’s net worth also rose, increasing $3.4 billion to $40.7 billion.

Mukesh Ambani: The, richest person in India, saw his net worth jump $3 billion to $44.4 billion. His Reliance Industries made a $33 billion bet on Jio, a 4G broadband service, that paid off well.

Bill Gates: Gates, once the richest person in the world, is still benefiting from Microsoft stock, four years after he stepped down as chairman. His net worth climbed by $2.9 billion, to $93.9 billion.

Elon Musk: The eccentric CEO of Tesla may have had some trouble with federal regulators this year -- a tweet cost him $20 million -- but the electric-car makers’ stock ended the year on a high note. Musk, whose net worth is now $22.5 billion after he added $2.8 billion this year, also benefited from an increase in value of SpaceX.

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Biggest losers:

Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook was plagued by scandals in 2018, rocked by repeat allegations that it didn’t do enough to protect users’ personal data -- all while it reportedly tried to silence its critics. Although it’s denied most of the claims, Facebook still saw its shares plunge this year. Zuckerberg lost $18.7 billion, bringing his net worth to $52.5 billion.

Amancio Ortega: Ortega, the founder of clothing retailer Inditex, saw his net worth drop by $16.2 billion to $59.6 billion. Inditex, whose share price fell in 2018, is largely known for its fashion chain Zara.

Georg Schaeffler: The German billionaire and owner of Schaeffler AG lost $14 billion in 2018, largely because of a decline in car sales in Europe and China. His net worth is now $12.4 billion.

Ma Huateng: Ma leads the internet giant Tencent, whose shares tumbled after a drop in quarterly profits. It went public on the New York Stock Exchange in December, but Ma still lost $10 billion in 2018. His net worth is $35.1 billion.

Carlos Slim Helú: Slim Helú owns the largest telecom company in Latin America, America Movil, but it’s been hurt by a stronger U.S. dollar. His net worth declined by about $9.3 billion to $56.8 billion.

Jorge Paulo Lemann: Lemann is a controlling shareholder of Anheuser-Busch InBev, which has suffered from declining beer sales. He lost $9.2 billion. His net worth is $20 billion.

Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi: The Thai billionaire, who founded Thai Beverage, lost about $7 billion due to declining profits amid a tough domestic alcoholic beverage market. His net worth is now $12.8 billion.

Pollyanna Chu: The Hong Kong entrepreneur’s Kingston Financial Group lost a significant piece of market value in 2018, bringing Chu’s net worth down to $2 billion from $7.2 billion.

Wang Wei: The Chinese delivery service firm S.F. Holdings, which was founded by Wang, saw its sales slump in 2018, as it competes with e-commerce businesses. Wang lost $6.7 billion, bringing his fortune to $13 billion.

Zhou Qunfei: Qunfei, once the richest self-made woman in the world, lost a $6.3 billion. She’s now worth $3.5 billion.

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