Reports of fresh political corruption crushed asset values in Brazil and cost the country’s 16 richest people $6.2 billion Thursday, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Stocks, bonds and the real fell sharply after O Globo newspaper reported on leaked testimony that President Michel Temer had approved hush money for Eduardo Cunha, the mastermind behind the impeachment of former president Dilma Rousseff.
The country’s Ibovespa Index tumbled 8.8 percent and the real dropped the most since 2008. The fall cut the year-to-date gains for the 16 billionaires to 10.6 percent from a high of 15.8 percent Tuesday. Despite the crisis, Temer said in a televised address at the presidential palace in Brasilia that he will not resign.
Banking billionaire Joseph Safra, founder of Banco Safra, had the largest drop, giving up more than $1 billion. Jorge Lemann, Brazil’s richest person and one of three billionaire partners behind private-equity firm 3G Capital, dropped $930 million. Together the billionaires behind 3G, which controls the world’s largest beermaker Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, lost a combined $1.8 billion.
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