The estimated worth of the world billionaires is down by $700 billion from 2019 due to the effect of the coronavirus pandemic says Forbes.

According to Forbes, “as the pandemic tightened its grip on Europe and America, global equity markets imploded, tanking many fortunes.”

The world renowed American Business Magazine in a statement on its website noted that as of March 18, when it finalised its rich list, it counted 2,095 billionaires, 58 fewer than a year ago.

Of the billionaires who remain, Forbes noted that 51% are poorer than they were last year.

“In raw terms, the world’s billionaires are worth $8 trillion, down $700 billion from 2019,” the magazine said.

Jeff Bezos, however, remains the world’s wealthiest person for the third year in a row.

Bezos remains number one despite giving $36 billion worth of his Amazon stock to his ex-wife MacKenzie Bezos as part of their divorce settlement last year.

He’s worth $113 billion according to Forbes and this is due to a 15% rise in Amazon’s shares since 2019.

With the pandemic and lockdowns, there is an increased demand from consumers staying home and shopping online.

Microsoft founder, Bill Gates remains the second richest man on earth followed by luxury goods tycoon Bernard Arnault, who kicked out Warren Buffett to move into the number three spot for the first time.

Alice Walton, an heir to the Walmart fortune, is the richest woman, ranked No.9 at $54.4 billion.

Altogether 241 women made the list.

The biggest gainer in dollar terms is Qin Yinglin, the world’s richest pig breeder. He’s ranked No. 43 and is worth $18.5 billion–a $14.2 billion jump since the 2019 list, after shares of his Shenzhen-listed Muyuan Foods nearly tripled as the African swine flu reduced the supply of pigs and drove up prices.

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