China’s Richest Win, Mexican Billionaires Lose With Trump Effect
Not even Donald Trump can put the brakes on China’s wealth-creation machine.
The 36 Chinese billionaires on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index have increased their wealth by 13.2 percent since the real estate mogul was elected U.S. president on Nov. 8, a $39.2 billion increase that’s pushed their combined net worth to $336 billion. The gains top those seen by billionaires in any other country outside the U.S., even as Trump has called China a currency manipulator whose trade policies have led to the loss of American jobs.
For Mexico’s wealthiest, returns have headed in the other direction. Trump’s attack on America’s southern neighbor have hammered the peso and reversed the double-digit gains its richest had in the 11 months prior to the election. Since Nov. 8, the fortunes of the eight billionaires have fallen 5.1 percent, a drop softened by the central bank’s announcement in February that it plans to support the currency and a Feb. 23 visit from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.
Carlos Slim, the richest person in Latin America with $50.7 billion, had the biggest decline, $4.2 billion.
Russia’s billionaires, meanwhile, are finding it pays to have a friend in the White House. The 28 Russians on the index have added $24.4 billion to their fortunes. The 10.5 percent increase has lifted their combined wealth to $256 billion on the back of rallies for commodities and the ruble amid speculation that relations between the countries will improve.
In all, the world’s richest have become $207 billion richer since Trump was elected as the first billionaire president in U.S. history and have a combined net worth of $4.6 trillion, according to the Bloomberg index, a daily ranking of the 500 wealthiest people on the planet.
The fortunes of the 45 U.S. finance industry billionaires on the index rose 6.7 percent to $403 billion, compared with a 4.2 percent rise for 126 other Americans on the ranking. The post-election rally reversed the declines the finance billionaires had prior to the vote and picked up steam after Trump said in January he was going to do a “big number” on the Dodd-Frank law that governs financial institutions.
Technology tycoons also gained, with the 25 U.S. tech billionaires on the index rising 6.8 percent, despite concerns that Trump policies could harm the industry and resistance to his immigration stance, which they fear will limit access to foreign talent.
Trump campaigned on a populist platform and has entrusted its execution to a team of wealthy supporters and advisers. His cabinet-level appointees have a combined net worth of $6.1 billion, while 24 other billionaires with a collective net worth of $210 billion are active supporters. Neither group has outperformed the major U.S. indexes since the election.
The wealth of the Trump supporters — which includes special advisers to the administration, campaign donors and members of inaugural and transition teams — has risen 4.5 percent compared with a 4.8 percent rise for the rest of the U.S. billionaires on the index. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 13.5 percent in the same period, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has risen 10.5 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index 12.2 percent.
The 171 U.S. billionaires have added $85 billion since the election and have a combined net worth of $1.9 trillion. The 329 non-American billionaires have added $122 billion and have $2.7 trillion.
—With assistance from Pamela Roux.