WHO says 2016 was a nightmare? Certainly not for the world’s super rich.
According to Bloomberg, “in a year when populist voters reshaped power and politics across Europe and the U.S., the world’s wealthiest people are ending 2016 with $237 billion more than they had at the start”.
The individual gains for the year were dominated by Americans, who had four of the five biggest increases on the index, including Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates, the world’s richest person with $91.5 billion, and oilman Harold Hamm.
Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote, the richest person in Africa, didn’t fare as well. He lost $4.9 billion or one-third of his wealth as the combined effect of falling oil prices and the June devaluation of the naira pushed him to No. 112 with $10.4 billion, Bloomberg said.
Dangote was the world’s 46th-richest person in June.
The gains were led by Warren Buffett, who added $11.8 billion during the year as his investment firm Berkshire Hathaway Inc. saw its airline and banking holdings soar after Donald Trump’s surprise victory on November 8.
Buffett, who didn’t support Trump and who’s pledged to give away most of his fortune to charity, donated Berkshire Hathaway stock valued at $2.6 billion in July.
The U.S. investor reclaimed his spot as the world’s second-richest person after a year-end rally that pushed Buffett’s wealth up 19 percent for the year to $74.1 billion.