Bernard Arnault, the wealthiest person in the world, experienced a significant decline in his fortune as concerns over a weakening US economy dampened demand for luxury goods. In just one day, Arnault saw $11.2 billion, or 5.5 percent, wiped from his net worth.
As the founder of LVMH, a conglomerate that includes renowned brands like Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior, Arnault had witnessed substantial growth in his wealth throughout 2023, largely driven by surging share prices of European luxury companies.
However, on Tuesday, a sharp reversal occurred. LVMH shares plummeted 5 percent in Paris, marking the biggest decline in over a year. This broader decline in the European luxury sector resulted in approximately $30 billion being wiped off the market.
Despite the significant sell-off, Bernard Arnault still maintains a substantial net worth of $191.6 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. In fact, he has added $29.5 billion to his personal fortune this year alone.
The gap between Arnault’s wealth and that of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the second-richest person globally, has narrowed to a mere $11.4 billion.
The decline in LVMH’s share price followed a prolonged rally, with the stock still showing a 23 percent increase for the year. Meanwhile, the MSCI Europe Textiles Apparel and Luxury Goods Index has surged by 27 percent.
During a luxury conference in Paris organized by Morgan Stanley, attendees highlighted a “relatively more subdued” performance in the US. Analysts from Deutsche Bank also expressed concerns about slowing growth in the US and predicted that investors would become more selective when it comes to European luxury stocks.