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Elon Musk becomes world’s second richest person

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Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk has topped Microsoft founder Bill Gates to become the world’s second richest man after a meteoric rise in his personal fortune.

Mr Musk’s net worth jumped by $7.2bn (£5.4bn) to $128bn after shares in his car firm Tesla surged.

Only Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is richer, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

It comes after news Tesla shares will be added to the S&P 500, one of the main share indexes in the US.

That triggered a fresh wave of buying of the electric carmaker’s shares, sending the company’s market value above $500bn and boosting the value of Mr Musk’s holding in the business.

Tesla is already the most valuable car firm in the world, despite producing a fraction of the vehicles of rivals such as Toyota, VW and General Motors.

On Tuesday, in a speech in Germany, Mr Musk said it could “make sense” for Tesla to expand in Europe by entering the mass-market segment with a small car.

“In the US, the cars tend to be bigger for personal taste reasons,” he said. “In Europe, (they) tend to be smaller.”

And after years of losses, Tesla has seen five consecutive quarters of profit as sales of its cars perform well despite the pandemic.

The California-based firm will be the biggest new entrant on the S&P 500, with a market value of more than $500bn.

It means investment funds tracking the index will automatically hold its stock and benefit from gains in its share price – news that has excited investors.

SourceBBC News

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