Jeff Bezos now world's third richest person - TechCentral

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Jeff Bezos now world’s third richest person

Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos just snuck past Warren Buffett to become the third richest person on Earth.

The Amazon.com founder’s net worth was US$65,05bn on Thursday (R923bn at the time of writing), topping Buffett by $32m on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. With the gain, Bezos’s wealth has increased by $5,4bn this year, marking a resurgence after it fell to as low as $43 billion in February amid turbulent global markets.

Most of Bezos’s wealth is tied to Amazon, which has benefited from robust demand for quick-turnaround delivery, cloud services and gadgets like the Kindle and Echo. In April, the Seattle-based company posted its biggest-ever net income and said first-quarter sales climbed 28%, including a 64% rise at its cloud computing division. The shares are up 54% since hitting a low of $482,07 on 9 February.

Bezos’s rise in the billionaire ranking has been helped by Buffett’s philanthropy. The Berkshire Hathaway chairman donated about $2,2bn worth of stock this month in his annual gift to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Even so, the 85-year-old has still seen his net worth rise by $2,7bn in 2016, with Berkshire’s Class A shares up 9,4%.

Bezos, 52, now lags only Spain’s Amancio Ortega, the Inditex founder, who has a $73bn fortune, and Microsoft’s Bill Gates, the world’s richest person, with $89bn.

Bezos’s rank could climb higher. Carlos Kirjner of Sanford C Bernstein & Co set his Amazon price target at $1 000 in May, 34% above Thursday’s close of $744,43. With the stock at that price, Bezos’s fortune would be about $86bn, just under Gates’s current level.  — (c) 2016 Bloomberg LP

  • Reported with assistance from Jack Witzig

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