Japan’s richest man, Tadashi Yanai, lost $1.4bn in a single day on Friday after his company Fast Retailing, which owns Uniqlo, saw its shares crash by 6.7 per cent. The Chairman and founder of the company suffered the biggest wealth decline among the world’s 500 richest people according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Uniqlo Japan announced a December slump on Friday, blaming unusually warm weather which it said had hit sales of winter clothing. Overall receipts were down five per cent.
Yanai’s net worth currently stands at $17.7bn, with Friday’s losses causing him to slip six places down the global rich list to 44th.
Sixty-seven year-old Yanai opened the first Uniqlo store in Hiroshima in 1984, and has since steered the firm to rapid growth.
Yanai has predicted the retailer will eclipse rivals H&M and Inditex, which owns Zara, to become the biggest clothing retailer in the world by 2020. He has also pledged to uphold the ethical values for which his company is known.
Uniqlo’s disappointing numbers added to Japanese corporate woes as Donald Trump threatened to slap punitive taxes on the Toyota’s cars if it imported them from Mexico.
Toyota saw its shares fall three per cent on the news, while other car manufacturers also suffered, helping to drag Japan’s Nikkei stock market down 0.4 per cent overall. Japanese markets were closed today for a national holiday.