By Tom Maloney & Blake Schmidt
A global rout in stock markets sparked by concerns over China Evergrande Group hit the world’s biggest fortunes Monday, with the richest 500 people losing a combined $135 billion.
Tesla Inc.’s Elon Musk led the declines as his world-leading net worth fell $7.2 billion to $198 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. No. 2 Jeff Bezos, the founder of Seattle-based Amazon.com Inc., lost $5.6 billion, paring his fortune to $194.2 billion.
A cash crunch at Evergrande, China’s most indebted developer, and a regulatory crackdown on the nation’s real estate market stoked fears about possible financial contagion. Markets also reacted to U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s warning of economic catastrophe if lawmakers fail to raise the debt ceiling.
The S&P 500 tumbled 1.7%, the most since May.
Evergrande founder and Chairman Hui Ka Yan continued his precipitous drop in Bloomberg’s wealth ranking as the company’s shares fell to their lowest in a decade. His fortune now stands at $7.3 billion, down from a peak of $42 billion in 2017.
Hong Kong’s biggest property developers led some of the sharpest losses on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index. Property billionaires Lee Shau-Kee, Yang Huiyan, Li Ka-Shing and Henry Cheng shed more than $6 billion combined.
Colin Huang, the founder of e-commerce platform Pinduoduo Inc., has lost $29.4 billion this year, more than anyone else in China, including $2.3 billion on Monday.