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Business UPDATE

Amancio Ortega briefly claims the title of World’s #1 Billionaire

By Vivian Hendriksz

Oct 23, 2015

Last Friday saw the founder of fast-fashion empire Inditex, Amancio Ortega, briefly claim the title of world's richest man after company stocks grew 5.3 percent.

According to Forbes World's 'real time' Billionaire list, the Spanish fashion mogule reached an all time high net worth of 79.9 billion dollars, thanks to a sudden increase in stock value which pushed him past Microsoft founder Bill Gates into first place. However, later in the day Microsoft also reported a 10 percent increase in its stock value which placed software founder Gates back into first place. Nevertheless, Ortega's brief victory as the world's richest man is an incredible milestone for the man who built his empire from a women's wear chain known as Zara.

Thanks to Ortega's fast-fashion business model, Zara has grown to become the largest fashion retailer in the world, surpassing fellow fast-fashion retailers such as Mango and H&M. With over 6000 stores in 9 0 countries across the globe, Inditex currently has a market value of 110 billion dollars, the third Spanish company to ever be valued above 100 billion dollars after bank Santander and telecommuncitions firm Telefonica.

London: Amancio Ortega, the brain behind the world’s biggest fast-fashion empire Inditex has just surpassed Bill Gates to become the world’s number one billionaire according to the Forbes Fortune 500 - a monumental achievement for the man who first began his empire selling quilted bathrobes.

The 79-year old Spaniard currently has a net worth of 79 billion dollars, a small 0.9 billion dollars more than the former number one billionaire, Microsoft’s Bill Gates. Ortega’s net worth has increased over the past six years from 18.3 billion dollars in 2009 to 64.6 billion dollars by March 2015, therefore adding 352.5 percent to his fortune. In this 6-year period Ortega’s Inditex rose 500 percent in market value from 24 billion dollars in 2009 to 120 billion dollars as of today. Given that Ortega holds just over 59 percent of Inditex’ shares, the fashion giant alone leaves him with a value of 71.2 billion dollars as of today.

Amancio Ortega world's richest person

As predicted by FashionUnited’s unique business intelligence, Ortega’s net worth has continued to increase since then, although at much explosive rate than previously predicted, hitting the staggering amount of 79 billion dollars today. Comparing this to Ortega’s net worth of 68.8 billion dollars just over a month ago, means that he has added 14.8 percent, a smooth 10,2 billion dollars to his net value in just 6 weeks. Since March this year, Ortega’s net worth has grown 22.7 percent.

Ortega’s Inditex and its market value has shown a similar increase since March 2015. Back then it was worth 100 billion dollars, where as today Inditex has a market value of 120 billion dollars, a 20 percent increase. A mere 6 weeks ago Inditex had a market capitalization of 109 billion dollars, 10 percent less than its value today. Other sources of Ortega’s wealth are his real estate investments and his Inditex’ remunerations.

Inditex’ market value rose from 109 billion dollars to 114 billion dollars on September 16, therefore adding 4.5 percent, straight after it had published an increase in the first half-year net sales of 17 percent. From 8 billion euros (9 billion dollars) in H1 2014 to 9.4 billion euros (10.6 billion dollars) in H1 2015. Is was only last week, on October 15, that Inditex’ launched the Chinese website of its subsidiary Stradivarius, leaving it with a market value of 118 billion dollars. As of Friday, October 23, 2015 Inditex’s market value has increased another 2 billion dollars after its shares hit an all time high this afternoon.