Elon Musk soars past Warren Buffett on billionaires ranking

Elon Musk (left) is the latest tech entrepreneur to rise above Warren Buffett in the ranks of the world's richest.
Elon Musk (left) is the latest tech entrepreneur to rise above Warren Buffett in the ranks of the world's richest.PHOTOS: AFP

NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) - Elon Musk is now richer than Warren Buffett.

The fortune of Tesla's founder rose US$6.1 billion (S$8.5 billion) on Friday (July 10), according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, after the carmaker's stock surged 11 per cent. Musk is now the world's seventh-richest person, also ahead of tech titans Larry Ellison and Sergey Brin.

The 49-year-old owns about a fifth of Tesla's outstanding stock, which comprises the bulk of his US$70.5 billion fortune. His majority ownership of closely held Space-X accounts for about US$15 billion.

Shares of the electric car-maker have risen 269 per cent this year. The firm's booming valuation helped Musk land a US$595 million pay-day earlier this year, making him the highest-paid CEO in the US.

Musk is the latest tech entrepreneur to rise above Buffett in the rank's of the world's richest. Steve Ballmer, the former Microsoft Corp CEO, and Google co-founders Larry Page and Brin also have leapfrogged the Oracle of Omaha. Indian tycoon Mukesh Ambani also surpassed Buffett this week.

Mike Novogratz, the long-time money manager who now runs digital currency investor Galaxy Digital Holdings Ltd, warned that valuations of technology companies are getting way too high and that small investors should get out of the market before it crashes.

"We are in irrational exuberance - this is a bubble," he said on Friday in a Bloomberg Television interview.

"The economy is grinding, slowing down, we're lurching in and out of Covid, yet the tech market makes new highs every day. That's a classic speculative bubble."

Buffett's fortune dropped earlier this week when he donated US$2.9 billion in Berkshire Hathaway stock to charity. The 89-year-old has given away more than US$37 billion of Berkshire shares since 2006.