Japan’s Richest Lose $4 Billion as Equities Plunge

Japan’s three richest men lost a combined $4.2 billion on paper in the past two weeks, according to data calculated by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Fast Retailing Co. Chairman Tadashi Yanai’s fortune slid 12 percent to $16.4 billion as of yesterday, the wealth of SoftBank Corp. President Masayoshi Son fell 13 percent to $12.1 billion and Rakuten Inc. Chief Executive Officer Hiroshi Mikitani’s assets dropped 9 percent to $6.6 billion. Even after the drop, Japan’s biggest stock rally in a quarter century has added almost $9 billion to the three executives’ net worth in 2013.

Japan’s Topix index is down 14 percent from a high on May 22, erasing $400 billion in market value. Japan is still the best-performing major equity market this year, with the Topix up around 28 percent on optimism Prime Minister Shinzo Abe can lead the world’s third-largest economy’s emergence from 15 years of deflation. Unprecedented monetary easing by the Bank of Japan has weakened the yen 17 percent versus the dollar since Dec. 3, helping exporters post higher earnings through March and raise profit targets for the fiscal year that started in April.

The three companies run by the billionaires derive most of their revenue from Japan despite efforts by the trio to diversify geographically. All three men rely on the performance of shares in their companies for all of their wealth, according to data compiled and calculated by Bloomberg.

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.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.