The battle for the title of world’s richest man between Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault has taken another twist: Arnault has surpassed Bezos for the third time last week, with an estimated net worth of $190.1 billion, compared to Bezos’ $188.5 billion as of 12:45 p.m. ET.
Arnault’s fortune increased by $1.8 billion overnight after LVMH shares closed 1% higher in Europe on Thursday. At 12:45 p.m. ET, Amazon shares were trading less than 1% lower, translating to a nearly $700 million decrease in Jeff Bezos’ net worth. Since the beginning of the week, the two men have amassed nearly $7 billion in wealth.
Arnault began the week as the world’s richest man, with $186.3 billion—just $300 million more than Bezos—but Amazon shares rose after markets opened in New York, and Bezos regained the title within a few hours. The same thing happened on Tuesday: Arnault began the day richer than Bezos, but the Amazon CEO quickly regained the lead. It’s a familiar pattern: Arnault has been richer than Bezos on at least two other occasions since 2019, only to fall back by the time the markets closed.
Both men have recently been busy buying and selling stocks. Between January and May, Arnault purchased $657 million in LVMH stock. The stock has risen by more than 26% since the beginning of the year, owing to strong sales of luxury fashion and jewelry in China and the United States. In the meantime, Bezos has been selling: Bezos sold $6.6 billion (pre-tax) worth of Amazon stock over three weeks in May after announcing in February that he would step down as CEO later this year. Bezos announced on Wednesday that he will step down as CEO on July 5.