South Africa News

South African-born Elon Musk loses world’s richest title

Tesla boss Elon Musk has lost his title as the world’s richest person after a recent slide in the electric carmaker’s shares, the main driver of his wealth.

Tesla shares have tumbled more than 20% since hitting a high of more than $880 in early January.

They suffered especially steep falls this week, tied to the firm’s recent risky $1.5bn (£1bn) investment in Bitcoin.

The drop returned Amazon boss Jeff Bezos to the top spot on the rich list.

The risk of being associated with the notoriously volatile Bitcoin – which has fallen sharply in recent days – may have prompted some Tesla investors to sell their shares, even if the firm has not been hurt by the declines, Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives said.

“By Musk and Tesla aggressively embracing Bitcoin… investors are starting to tie Bitcoin and Tesla at the hip,” he said.

“The recent 48-hour sell-off in Bitcoin and added volatility has driven some investors to the exits on this name in the near-term.”
Bitcoin’s value jumped nearly 50% in the weeks after Tesla revealed it had purchased $1.5bn of the currency and planned to accept it as payment.

But since climbing above $57,000 on Sunday, the cryptocurrency has dropped nearly 20%. It was trading at less than $48,000 on Tuesday – still higher than when Tesla disclosed its bet.

Just as Mr Musk was credited with helping to fuel Bitcoin’s rise, he may also have himself to blame for some of the recent Bitcoin declines.

In an exchange on Twitter over the weekend Mr Musk wrote that the price of Bitcoin did “seem high lol”.

-BBC

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