Jeff Bezos, Rupert Murdoch, and other billionaires lost money in 2019. These are the 10 biggest losers

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Getty


1. Rupert Murdoch

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News Corp founder Rupert Murdoch
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Al Bello/Getty Images

Loss: $10.2 billion

Rupert Murdoch lost more than anyone else in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index this year, ending the year at no. 220 with a $7.8 billion fortune.

The executive chairman of News Corp – which owns The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, and The Times of London – and co-chairman of Fox Corporation saw his net worth plunge after Disney bought 21st Century Fox.

Murdoch decided to distribute $12 billion in proceeds from the deal among his six children, shrinking his personal fortune.


2. Jeff Bezos

Loss: $8.7 billion

Jeff Bezos suffered a drop in net worth after giving a 4% stake in Amazon worth about $37 billion to MacKenzie Bezos as part of the biggest divorce settlement in history.

However, the e-commerce giant’s founder and CEO still topped the list with a $116 billion fortune.


3. Hui Ka Yan

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Evergrande chairman Hui Ka Yan
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Bobby Yip/Reuters

Loss: $2.2 billion

Hui Ka Yan is the chairman and largest shareholder of Evergrande, one of China’s biggest real-estate developers. His net worth dipped to $30 billion, landing him in the no. 32 spot on the rich list, as Evergrande’s stock price slid 8% in 2019.

Evergrande has come under pressure as Chinese lenders are less willing to finance property projects, and legislators have rolled out new regulations designed to curb speculation, according to the South China Morning Post.


4. Tan Siok Tjien

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A stack of cigarettes
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Reuters

Loss: $2.2 billion

Tan Siok Tjien and her family own more than 75% of Gudang Garam, an Indonesian maker of clove cigarettes with a domestic market share of 20%.

Gudang Garam’s stock price dropped by about 37% during the year, shrinking her fortune to $7.8 billion.


5. Robin Li

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Baidu CEO Robin Li
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VCG/Getty

Loss: $2.2 billion

Robin Li, the cofounder and CEO of Chinese search giant Baidu, saw his fortune shrink to $9.2 billion in 2019.

Baidu’s stock has more than halved since July 2018 as a slowing Chinese economy and the US-China trade war have weighed on advertising demand. This summer, the company recorded its first quarterly loss since going public in 2005, according to the Wall Street Journal.


6. Thomas Peterffy

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Interactive Brokers chairman Thomas Peterffy
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Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Loss: $2.2 billion

Thomas Peterffy is the founder and chairman of Interactive Brokers, one of the nation’s biggest electronic trading platforms.

Interactive Brokers’ stock dropped 12% in 2019 amid fears of tougher competition, as rival Charles Schwab scrapped commissions and agreed to buy TD Ameritrade.

Peterffy’s fortune slid to $15.3 billion, but he still ranked as one of the 100 wealthiest people on Bloomberg’s list.


7. Wang Wei

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SF Express chairman Wang Wei
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YouTube / #SecretsSelfmadeBillionaires by Paul Chan

Loss: $1.9 billion

Wang Wei is the chairman and founder of SF Express, China’s biggest parcel-delivery company.

His fortune dropped to $8.5 billion in 2019 as a slowing Chinese economy and the US-China trade war weighed on demand. SF’s stock price has also dropped by 38% since late 2017.


8. Harold Hamm

Loss: $1.7 billion

Harold Hamm is the founder, executive chairman, and former CEO of Continental Resources, one of America’s biggest oil and gas companies and a fracking pioneer.

Continental’s stock price has dropped 15% this year as weaker oil and gas sales meant both revenue and profits dropped in the nine months to September. The decreased value of Hamm’s shares drove his net worth down to $10.1 billion.


9. George Kaiser

Loss: $1.6 billion

George Kaiser is the chairman and majority shareholder of BOK Financial, the largest bank of Oklahoma. He is also the founder of Argonaut Private Equity, and the owner and president of Kaiser-Francis Oil.

Kaiser’s fortune dropped to $8.6 billion in 2019.


10. Seo Jung-Jin

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South Korea and Celltrion flags
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Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters

Loss: $1.6 billion

Seo Jung-jin is the founder and chairman of Celltrion, a South Korean biopharmaceuticals group that develops drugs to treat cancer, influenza, rheumatoid arthritis, and other maladies.

Celltrion’s stock price slumped by about 15% in 2019, slashing Seo’s net worth to $5.1 billion.

One reason for the stock drop was JPMorgan-owned One Equity Partners’ sale of a 4.5% stake in Celltrion for $327 million in May. The move followed a billion-dollar stock sale by another key investor – Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, Temasek – in October 2018.