World’s Wealthiest Gain $45 Billion as Dow Reaches 15,000

The world’s 200 richest people added $44.6 billion to their collective net worth this week as the Dow Jones Industrial Average reached 15,000 for the first time.

Alisher Usmanov, 59, whose fortune rose $61.2 million during the week, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, said in an interview at Bloomberg’s Moscow offices that he recently spent about $100 million buying Apple Inc. shares in anticipation they will rise.

“I believe in the future of this company even after Steve Jobs,” Usmanov, who is Russia’s richest man, said, referring to Apple’s late co-founder. “When the company lost $100 billion of its market value, it was a good time to buy its shares, as the capitalization should rebound.”

Apple sold $17 billion of bonds this week in the biggest corporate offering on record as the iPhone maker seeks to help finance a $100 billion capital reward for shareholders.

The Cupertino, California-based company issued $3 billion of floating-rate notes and $14 billion of fixed-rate securities in six parts with maturities from three to 30 years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Copper surged the most since 2011 this week to lead commodities higher, and Treasuries slid as faster-than-forecast employment growth bolstered optimism in the world’s largest economy. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index closed at 1614.42, after reaching a record Monday. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 1.74 percent, finishing the week at 301.04.

Buffett Expands

Warren Buffett, the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., is planning to expand his insurance operations after hiring four executives from American International Group Inc.

“We would like to get into the commercial-insurance business very big time,” Buffett, 82, said yesterday in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Betty Liu, before the company’s annual meeting this weekend in Omaha, Nebraska. “We hired them because they’re very good at the commercial insurance business.”

Buffett, the world’s third-richest person, has a net worth of $58.1 billion.

Mexican telecommunications tycoon Carlos Slim remains the richest person on the planet with a net worth of $75.6 billion. The 73-year-old announced last week his foundation would donate $100 million to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative run by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Slim, Gates

“Carlos’ generous commitment to support the GPEI plan is helping the world prove that setting ambitious goals leads to big victories, and inspires us to set and achieve more ambitious goals,” Bill Gates said in the announcement. “When we end polio, we’ll be a big step closer to ensuring that we reach all children with the life-saving vaccines they need.”

Gates, 57, is No. 2 on the index with a net worth of $71.1 billion, $4.5 billion behind Slim.

Leon Black, chief executive officer of private-equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC, said prices for traditional buyouts have risen so much that it’s a good time to sell.

“We think it’s a fabulous environment to be selling,” Black, 61, said during a panel discussion today at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, adding that Apollo has sold about $13 billion of assets in the past 15 months. “We’re selling everything that’s not nailed down in our portfolio, and if it is nailed down, we’re refinancing it.”

Black ranks 165th on the index with a net worth of $7.5 billion.

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 and listed in U.S. dollars.