Coronavirus scare that triggered a week of bruising sell-offs on Wall Street which ended Friday with its worst week since the height of the 2008 financial crash saw the combined fortunes of the world's 500 richest people fall hellishly by $444 billion.
Global share markets that saw the worst week since the depths of 2008 financial crisis as investors moved away from risky assets on fears the coronavirus will become a pandemic and derail economic growth. The Dow Jones Industry Average tumbled by more than 12%.
After the market tanked, $78 billion gains of the 500 richest people who had accumulated this since the beginning of the year was erased, stated Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and LVMH Chairman Bernard Arnault, the worlds three richest people, incurred enormous losses and their combined wealth dropped by about $30 billion.
The world's 25th richest man, Elon Musk, with a loss of $9 billion, ranked fourth as shares of Tesla Inc. slipped after a steep climb in the start of the year.
Amid the coronavirus scare, about 80% of billionaires on Bloomberg's wealth ranking are now in red. Micky Arison, Carnival Corp Chairman, lost $1 billion during the week after the largest cruise-line operator that had ferried tourists in its ship in Japan saw five deaths due to the virus.
The death toll due to the novel coronavirus outbreak in China has increased to 2,788, health authorities said on Friday, while the number of confirmed cases has risen to 78,824.