The fortunes of some of France and Europe's richest have risen steeply in 2018, making France the country with the world's highest net growth for billionaires.
Bernard Arnault, chairman of LVMH – owner of Givenchy – and Francois Pinault, owner of Gucci, both saw their wealth sore, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
France's 13 richest billionaires added 27.6 billion USD (€23.44 billion) to their fortunes in the last year, more than five times the total annual GDP of the country of Malawi which has a population of 18 million.
Arnault is Europe's, and the world's 4th, richest individual with a net worth of USD 78.3 billion (€66.5 billion), according to the report.
Three out of the four European billionaires in the top 22 in the world are French: Arnault, Pinault and Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, owner of Loréal.
France is home to 42 billionaires, according to the Forbes 2018 The World's Billionaires list.
Their interests range from luxury goods, to pharmaceuticals, shipping, telecoms, oil, cheese, real estate, aviation, racing, casinos, bakeries and motorhomes.