camila October 26, 2021

NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) – It is just one more arresting data point amid a flurry of superlatives, but Mr Elon Musk’s soaring net worth now makes him more valuable than Exxon Mobil. 

The wealth of the world’s richest person jumped to US$288.6 billion (S$388.85 billion) on Monday (Oct 25), according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The US$36.2 billion gain followed a surge in Tesla’s stock price after Hertz Global Holdings ordered 100,000 cars.

Eclipsing the value of an old-economy bellwether like Exxon may seem like an inevitable milestone in Mr Musk’s trajectory. But the oil company’s own share price has been no laggard this year. Despite being overtaken by Mr Musk at the start of 2021, Exxon has been on a tear since then. It outpaced the Tesla chief executive this year as oil and natural gas prices advanced. Still, that fossil-fuel rally, should it continue, may help spur even more sales of electric vehicles.

The jump in Mr Musk’s personal fortune is among the biggest one-day gains in the history of the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, second only to Chinese tycoon Zhong Shanshan’s US$32 billion surge last year on the day his bottled-water company, Nongfu Spring, went public.

Tesla shares closed up 12.7 per cent at US$1,024.86 on Monday.

About two-thirds of Mr Musk’s net worth is tied directly to shares and options in the electric-car company, of which he is co-founder and chief executive.

Mr Musk is increasingly pulling away from his fellow mega-billionaires when it comes to the size of his fortune.

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos ranks second with US$193 billion, according to the Bloomberg index.

Even before the Hertz deal, Tesla shares have climbed in recent weeks. The automaker’s stock price is up by more than 40 per cent this year, almost double the gain of the S&P 500 Index, as investors continue to reward green technologies.

A surge in Tesla stock is not the only source of wealth gains for Mr Musk.

The seventh tranche of his massive 2018 stock option package vested in the third quarter, according to a regulatory filing on Monday, adding about US$8 billion to his net worth.