BOSTON – The world’s richest people lost US$35bil (RM151.8bil) Wednesday when global equity markets were rocked by political turmoil in the US, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Bill Gates, the world’s richest person with US$86.8bil (RM376.3bil), lost U$$1bil (RM4.3bil) as shares of Microsoft Corp, his largest holding, tumbled 2.8%, the most in almost a year. Inc co-founder Jeff Bezos, who came within US$4bil (RM17.3bil) of taking the top spot from Gates earlier this week, dropped to No. 3 after losing US$1.7bil (RM7.4bil) as shares of the online retailer slid 2.2%. Spanish retailing tycoon Amancio Ortega lost US$355mil (RM1.5bil) to end the day in the second position with US$83.2bil (RM360.7bil).

Global stock indexes tumbled as political turmoil enveloped the White House, with President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia and his firing of FBI Director James Comey under scrutiny. US stocks posted their steepest declines since September, led by the Nasdaq Composite’s 2.6% slide.

The MSCI All-Country World Index fell 1.2%, and bank stocks were the worst performers.

Facebook Inc founder Mark Zuckerberg was hardest hit in the tumult, dropping US$2bil when the social media giant dropped 3.3%.

Zuckerberg is the fifth-richest person on the planet with US$62.3bil, according to the index.

Trump, the first billionaire to serve as US president, has a net worth of US$3bil and doesn’t have a spot on the Bloomberg index, a daily ranking of the world’s 500 richest people.

They have a combined net worth of US$4.9 trillion, up US$455bil in 2017.

– Bloomberg