Europe’s richest person, Bernard Arnault, joins the ranks of centibillionaires.

Bernard Arnault, chairman of LVMH, has recently entered the ranks of centibillionaires, joining Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates as the only people in the world with a fortune of at least $100 billion.

As the luxury-goods maker climbed 2.9% to a record 368.80 euros a share, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index, his net worth has increased almost $32 billion this year, meaning his fortune now equals more than 3% of France’s economy, underscoring the wealth gap in his native country, where protesters have agitated this year for more benefits paid for by the rich.

The 70 year-old centibillionaire and his family pledged more than $650 million in April 2019 for the reconstruction of Notre Dame Cathedral after the landmark church was ravaged by fire. Arnault controls about half of Paris-based LVMH through a family holding company. He also owns a 97% stake in Christian Dior, the fashion house founded three years before his birth in 1949.

The company’s shares have surged 43% this year, the third-best performer on France’s CAC 40 Index.

How is competition?

Jeff Bezos’ net worth dropped $40 billion earlier this year after reaching a divorce settlement with MacKenzie Bezos.

Bill Gates’ net worth surpassed $100 billion mid April as Microsoft shares ticked up prior to the company’s earnings announcement and combined with solid performance from Gates’ other investments.


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