Fears of coronavirus which have sent global stock markets plummeting in recent days have also eaten into the fortunes of the world’s wealthiest moguls.
The combined net worth of the world’s 500 richest people fell by $444 billion as health officials around the world struggle to contain the mysterious pathogen.
The globe’s three wealthiest individuals - Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, and French magnate Bernard Arnault - took the biggest losses.
Their combined fortunes dropped by about $30 billion, according to Bloomberg.
Gates sounded the alarm about coronavirus on Friday, writing in The New England Journal of Medicine that it is behaving like a ‘once-in-a-century’ pathogen with the potential to kill more people than the 1957 influenza pandemic.
That year, 2 million people died around the world due to what the World Health Organization called ‘Asian flu.’
Elon Musk, the 25th wealthiest person in the world, took the fourth-largest loss - $9 billion.
Musk’s electric car company, Tesla, saw its stock value drop precipitously from a high of $917 per share on February 19 to $625 on Friday.
At the closing bell, Tesla was trading at $667.99 per share.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.