Elon Musk has extended his lead as the world's richest person as Tesla's value rocketed above $1trillion (726bn), Daily Mail reported.
The tech tycoon was worth around e210bn last night following a dramatic surge in the carmaker's share price.
The 50-year-old is well ahead of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who has a e140bn fortune, and LVMH tycoon Bernard Arnault, who is third with around e118bn.
Tesla became the first carmaker with a value of $1trillion this week after rental company Hertz ordered 100,000 Model 3s -- its biggest deal yet. It made Tesla more valuable than the next ten largest global carmakers combined, the report said.
At the same time, Musk's wealth now eclipses the value of the UK's five largest banks -- HSBC, Lloyds, Barclays, Natwest and Standard Chartered.
Musk owns a 17 per cent stake in the transport group, whose shares rocketed 740 per cent in 2020 as tech companies took Wall Street indexes by storm and sent the Nasdaq spiralling to record highs.
Musk celebrated the watershed $1trillion moment by tweeting: "Wild $T1mes!"But the father of seven is a controversial businessman whose tweets have fallen foul of US regulators, who have previously accused him of manipulating the stock market with posts on the social media site saying that he was considering taking the company private, the report said.
He has also become a key advocate of cryptocurrencies -- frequently plugging bitcoin and dogecoin in particular. His influence was demonstrated earlier this week when he stated on Twitter that he did not have any holdings in Shiba Inu, which is a fast-growing cryptocurrency. The value of Shiba Inu plummeted 15 per cent shortly after, the report said.
The South African-born entrepreneur co-founded Paypal after dropping out from a post-graduate programme at Stanford University. Paypal was snapped up by Ebay for e1.2bn in 2002. He did not set up Tesla but was one of its earliest investors and became chairman in 2004. He was first listed on the Forbes list of billionaires in 2012. For years analysts were sceptical about Tesla's prospects as it ran into frequent production delays and stints of quarterly losses, the report said.
Last week the group posted record quarterly profits of e1.2 billion. It sold 2,40,000 vehicles between July and September. Musk believes that humans should become an interplanetary species and has entered into an informal space race with Bezos. Musk recently separated from his partner of three years, the singer Grimes, with whom he has one child, named X e A-12, the report added.
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