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Co-founder of Tesla Motors Elon Musk (File photo)

Elon Musk gains US$8B to become world’s fourth-richest person

Co-founder of Tesla Motors Elon Musk (File photo)

Elon Musk’s financial upswing shows no signs of slowing.

The outspoken entrepreneur is now the world’s fourth-richest person after Tesla Inc shares surged 11 per cent on Monday, closing at a record high and boosting Musk’s net worth by US$7.8 billion.

The rise vaulted the Tesla co-founder past French luxury tycoon Bernard Arnault, the wealthiest non-American on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Musk’s US$84.8-billion fortune puts him within US$15 billion of Mark Zuckerberg, No 3 on the ranking of the world’s 500 richest people.

Tesla co-founderEln Musk surpassed French luxury tycoon Bernard Arnault — owner of brands such as Moet Chandon and Louis Vuitton — to become the fourth-wealthiest person on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. (File photo)

Monday’s Tesla rally is just the latest triumph for the billionaire who only two years ago was sued by the US Securities and Exchange Commission and had to resign as chairman of the electric-car maker over rogue tweets. Tesla shares, which rose 3.0 per cent at 12:10 pm in New York, are up more than 353 per cent this year, fuelled by growing anticipation that the company will be included in the S&P 500 Index.

Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp, or SpaceX, is poised to pad his fortune by another US$3 billion. The company announced it raised US$1.9 billion in new funding in an SEC filing Tuesday. The funding round increases its equity valuation to US$46 billion, Bloomberg reported last week.

Co-founder Elon Musk resigned as chairman of the electric-car maker Tesla last year over rogue tweets. (File photo)

Musk’s fortune has grown by more than US$57 billion this year, the second-biggest increase on the index after Amazon.com Inc founder Jeff Bezos’s. The world’s richest man has accumulated US$73 billion in 2020 and is now worth US$188 billion.

Tech shares have been on a tear this year as the coronavirus pandemic drove more people online, lifting the fortunes of the companies’ founders and putting the industry under increased scrutiny. Facebook Inc’s Mark Zuckerberg became a centibillionaire this month, joining Bezos and Bill Gates, the second-wealthiest person on Earth.

— Bloomberg