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Sunday, April 15, 2018

The richest man in Europe is no longer the owner of Zara

Por Jade

Amancio Ortega is the richest man in Spain, but no longer in Europe. Bernard Arnault, president of the French conglomerate Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH), has become the richest man in Europe, with a fortune of 70.7 billion dollars, reports Bloomberg. The entrepreneur became the largest fortune in the Old Continent thanks to a large growth in the shares of Cristian Dior, member of the LVHM.

According to the Forbes list, the fortune of the owner of brands such as Louis Vuitton or Gucci, Bernard Arnault, has just surpassed that of the founder of Inditex surpasses the Spanish Amancio Ortega, owner of the group Inditex (Massimo Dutti, Zara), whose fortune amounts to 70,200 million dollars, and becomes the fourth fortune in the world, behind the Amazon director Jeff Bezos (115,800 million dollars), the founder of Microsoft Bill Gates (90,200 million dollars) and the head of the investment fund Berkshire Hathaway Warren Buffett (85,300 million dollars).

In 2017, the company led by Arnault achieved a sales record of 42 billion euros, 13% more than the previous year. It is believed that this sales trigger could be related to the increase in demand in the Far East, as well as the closeness of values between the dollar and the pound. Of course, the technological and digital advances, and the launch of its online multi-brand store 24 Sevres, would have favored this growth.

Arnault, with a fortune of 76,300 million dollars, has lost during this session 948 million dollars after the fall of LVMH in the stock market of 1,69%. But the fall of 2.26% of Inditex in this session has made Amancio Ortega lose an even greater amount, 1,500 million dollars, bringing his total fortune to 75,500 million dollars. The price of the textile has marked minimum since May 2016, to 27.65 euros.

Arnault has said he faces 2018 with caution, pointing to a risk of "bubble burst" and "geopolitical uncertainty." In spite of everything, strategic movements will not be lacking this year. The main one will be to transform Céline into a first division brand, after the replacement of Phoebe Philo by Hedi Slimane, newly appointed creative director, with the mission of launching a man line and another of perfumery. The goal would be to reach "between 2,000 and 3,000 million euros" in the next five years, according to Arnault.

However, Bernard Arnault is still far from becoming the richest man in the world. The first four positions on the Forbes list are reserved for the United States. Amazon's founder, Jeff Bezos, whose fortune stands at 118.9 billion dollars, is placed at number 1. Bezos is followed by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, in second and third place correspondingly. Above Arnault is also the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, with a fortune of 76,700 million dollars.