Hundreds of millions wiped from Trump fortune in wake of conviction | Stock markets

Donald Trump’s paper fortune dropped by hundreds of millions of dollars on Friday as shares in his media firm came under pressure in the wake of his conviction in his New York hush-money trial.

Trump Media & Technology Group’s stock finished the day down 5.3% on Wall Street, denting the value of the former president’s vast stake in the business.

By the time markets closed for the day, Trump’s stake stood at about $5.6bn. The previous day, it was closer to $6bn.

An extraordinary market debut in March by Trump Media, the owner of Truth Social, bolstered Trump’s paper fortune by billions of dollars – and propelled him, for the first time, into the ranks of the world’s 500 wealthiest people – as he grapples with hefty legal costs.

But shares in Trump Media are prone to volatile fluctuations, and Trump is unable to start offloading his stake until September, due to a lock-up agreement.

When New York’s Nasdaq stock exchange closed on Thursday, about an hour before Trump was found guilty of 34 counts of falsifying business records in a criminal hush-money scheme, his stake in Trump Media was worth more than $5.9bn. At one point on Friday, as the company’s stock fell, his stake was worth less than $5.5bn. His fortune recovered some ground near the end of the day.

Trading in Trump Media has been prone to fluctuation since its listing. While the stock stumbled on Friday, it rose over the course of the week. The company’s financial returns have yet to match its success on the market. Net losses at Trump Media widened from $210m to $328m in the first three months of this year. Revenue dropped 31% to $770,500 over the same period.

The company has become a so-called meme stock, boosted by chatter and enthusiasm on social media – posted, in its case, on platforms including Truth Social – urging retail investors to buy into it. Some Trump supporters called for others to buy shares the day after his conviction.

The ex-president will need Trump Media to continue to trade at the levels to which it has surged in recent months if he is to raise billions of dollars by selling his majority stake in the firm.

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