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Tesla’s Elon Musk becomes richest person in the world as shares keep soaring


Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) founder Elon Musk has become the richest person on Earth as shares in the electric vehicle maker continued their eye-popping rise this week.

The stock gained another 5% to US$791.61 in early trade on Thursday, up 12% since the start of 2021 and more than 740% higher over the past 12 months.

This took the value of California-headquartered Tesla not far off US$750bn and increased the wealth of Musk, who owns 193.3mln or 20.7% of the carmaker’s shares. 

With the rise in the shares, Musk’s net worth topped US$185bn and meant he overtook Jeff Bezos, the founder of Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN), who had been the richest person since 2017 and is currently worth around US$184bn. 

Amazon stock was up 2% after a year when its valuation rose by two thirds to US$1.6trn. Bezos sold chunks of shares three times last year to leave him with a stake of less than 11% in the company.

The South African-born entrepreneur’s wealth has skyrocketed even faster than Tesla’s share price as his generous pay package combined to add more than US$150bn to his net worth.

This meant in November he overtook Microsoft founder Bill Gates, having already bypassed Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, legendary investor Warren Buffett, Facebook figurehead Mark Zuckerberg and fashion magnate Bernard Arnault.

Earlier in the week, Morgan Stanley said Tesla’s shares can continue to outperform as the company is the best positioned name in the automotive sector, with the investment bank upping its price target to US$810.


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