Bernard Arnault, the world’s richest person, had $1[ads1]1.2 billion wiped from his fortune in one day amid concerns that a softening US economy would dampen demand for luxury goods.
The founder of LVMH – whose offerings include Louis Vuitton handbags, Moet & Chandon Champagne and Christian Dior dresses – had seen his fortune balloon for most of 2023 as the share prices of European luxury companies rose.
On Tuesday, he gave back some of those gains. LVMH shares fell 5% in Paris – the most in more than a year – amid a broader decline that wiped about $30 billion from the European luxury sector.
Even with the sale, the French billionaire still has a net worth of $191.6 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He has added $29.5 billion so far this year.
The gap between Arnault’s fortune and Tesla Inc.’s Elon Musk, the world’s second-richest person, has shrunk to just $11.4 billion.
Tuesday’s flight came after a prolonged rise in LVMH’s share price, which is still up 23% for the year. The MSCI Europe Textiles Apparel & Luxury Goods Index has risen 27%.
Attendees at a luxury conference in Paris organized by Morgan Stanley flagged a “relatively more muted” performance in the US, according to Edouard Aubin, an analyst at the investment bank.
Deutsche Bank AG analysts Matt Garland and Adam Cochrane said in a note that they expect investors to become more selective with European luxury stocks, with slowing growth in the US a concern.