World’s richest female billionaire, Francois Betterncourt, 3 others lose $8.2B in 24 hours

Some of the world’s wealthiest richest people in the fashion industry faced significant losses, collectively amounting to a staggering $8.2 billion over the span of just 24 hours.

Among them, L’Oreal heiress and beauty industry titan, Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, found herself at the forefront of this substantial wealth decline. Forbes’ Daily Losers and Gainers list for Wednesday, March 20, 2024, revealed that Bernard Arnault, the billionaire behind luxury conglomerate LVMH, led the pack with a staggering loss of $3.3 billion.

Similarly, Francois Pinault, the esteemed honorary chairman of luxury powerhouse Kering, which boasts renowned fashion labels like Saint Laurent and Gucci, saw his fortune diminish by a significant $3.2 billion.

Francoise Bettencourt Meyers herself experienced a notable decline in wealth, recording losses amounting to $1.8 billion.

The factors responsible for the drop in their net worth are tied to the performance of their shares in various corporations.  Although the luxury market has grown in the past decade, sales have not been as impressive in recent years.

Particularly on Wednesday where, Luxury goods stocks faced significant pressure, largely due to ongoing concerns surrounding the Chinese market. The turmoil intensified when Kering, a prominent player in the luxury sector, reported disappointing financial results, causing its share price to plummet by more than 10%.

What you should know

This abrupt decline triggered a ripple effect across the industry, with other major luxury groups experiencing substantial sell-offs. LVMH, the world’s largest luxury conglomerate, saw its stock drop by over 2%, alongside declines in the stock prices of Hermes and Richemont, which also plunged by more than 2%. The downward trend extended to brands like Dior and Prada, whose stocks similarly retreated.

The downturn in luxury stocks was primarily attributed to Kering’s lacklustre performance in Asia, its key growth market, where sales plummeted by over 20%.

With Kering also forecasting a 10% decline in first-quarter revenue, concerns about the broader luxury goods sector intensified, leading to the widespread sell-off observed across multiple luxury brands, including LVMH, Hermes, Prada, and Dior.

These losses show the volatile nature of the global financial markets and serve as a reminder of the inherent risks associated with wealth accumulation at such monumental scales.

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