The ranking was published in the magazine Challenges, showing that the cumulative wealth of the 500 largest fortunes in France has increased by almost a third in one year.
The list is dominated for the fifth consecutive year by Bernard Arnault, the boss of LVMH, with the largest market capitalization in Europe. The strong recovery in luxury goods in the second half of 2020, driven by Asia, caused the share prices of the giants of the sector, including LVMH (Vuitton, Dior, etc.) and Kering (Gucci, Saint Laurent, etc.) to soar, and therefore the assets of their executive shareholders.
According to the magazine, which made its calculation according to the professional assets of personalities between June 2020 and June 2021, the amount of the fortune of the 500 richest in the country “is now close to 1 trillion euros”. “These are the strongest annual increases ever recorded by our list, set up in 1996,” Challenges pointed out.
The number of French billionaires was 51 in 2011, according to the media. Arnault was the richest man in the world for a few hours in May, ahead of the American Jeff Bezos (Amazon).
“The crises make us stronger,” Arnault said at the end of April, commenting on the good financial results of LVMH, the world number one in luxury goods.
EBay founder Pierre Omidyar, eighth, doubled his estimated fortune between 2020 and 2021, as lockdowns have boosted the online trade in second-hand items. “The top ten, those whose fortune exceeds 13 billion euros, saw their assets jump by 37 percent. The 490 others saw theirs increase “only” by 25 percent.
On July 3, the anti-globalization association Attac directly targeted Bernard Arnault by painting black windows of Samaritaine, the LVMH department store recently reopened in Paris, to denounce “the indecent enrichment of billionaires during the health crisis”.