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World’s Richest Lose $27 Billion as Global Stocks Falter

The 100 richest people on Earth lost a combined $26.7 billion this week as global stocks fell.

Eike Batista, Brazil’s richest man, lost $408 million amid declines in shares of his commodity startups. The 55-year-old billionaire is selling OSX Brasil SA, the best performing of his six publicly traded companies, in an effort to raise cash after his commodities empire had a combined $458 million net loss in the second quarter. He is worth $21.3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

“There was a little bit of a QE3 hangover, which was not a surprise,” said Ron Florance, managing director of investment strategy for Wells Fargo Private Bank, in a telephone interview from New York. “There’s a lot of window dressing noise, so it’s hard to get a real fundamental theme out of the trading.”

U.S. stocks fell four days during the week, capping the worst week since June for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as business activity unexpectedly contracted in September. Spain’s banks have a combined capital shortfall of 59.3 billion euros ($76.2 billion), less than previously estimated, according to a test commissioned by the Spanish government.

The S&P 500 lost 1.33 percent during the week to close at 1440.67 in New York. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 2.65 percent, closing at 268.48.

Slim, Ellison

Mexican telecommunications magnate Carlos Slim, 72, remains the richest person in the world, with a fortune of $75.3 billion, up $852 million for the week. Second is Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates, 56, with $63.8 billion. Amancio Ortega, the 76-year-old founder of Zara clothing chain owner Inditex SA, is No. 3 on the index with a net worth of $51.3 billion, $3.9 billion ahead of Warren Buffett.

Larry Ellison, 68, more than tripled the number of Oracle Corp. shares he has pledged against lines of credit in the last year, according to a company filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The billionaire owns 1.1 billion shares of the Redwood City, California-based software maker.

According to the company’s proxy statement, which was filed with the SEC on Sept. 21, 139 million shares are “pledged as collateral to secure certain personal indebtedness, including various lines of credit.” The collateralized stock is valued at $4.4 billion.

Total Wealth

Oracle’s 2011 proxy statement said the billionaire had pledged 40 million shares as collateral. The increase reduced Ellison’s net worth estimate by $3.5 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He’s now the world’s 8th-richest person with a $37.3 billion fortune. Collateralized shares aren’t counted toward Ellison’s net worth, according to the ranking.

The Bloomberg Billionaires Index takes measure of the world’s wealthiest people based on market and economic changes and Bloomberg News reporting. Each net worth figure is updated every business day at 5:30 p.m. in New York. The valuations are listed in U.S. dollars. The collective wealth of the index is $1.9 trillion.

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