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Amazon’s Jeff Bezos world’s richest man: Forbes

by BQ News Bureau
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Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos is the world’s wealthiest person for the third year in a row, despite giving $36 billion worth of his Amazon stock to his ex-wife MacKenzie Bezos as part of their divorce settlement last summer, according to Forbes’ 34th annual ranking of the world’s billionaires released on Tuesday.

He’s worth $113 billion, buoyed by a 15 per cent rise in Amazon’s shares since the 2019 list. The e-commerce giant has been in the spotlight amid the pandemic; it’s hiring 100,000 full- and part-time workers to help meet increased demand from consumers staying home and shopping online.

Bill Gates keeps his spot as number two richest, followed by luxury goods tycoon Bernard Arnault, who nudged out Warren Buffett to move into the number three spot for the first time. Alice Walton, an heir to the Walmart fortune, is the richest woman, ranked No.9 at $54.4 billion. Altogether 241 women made the list, including 7 who share a fortune with a spouse, sibling or child.

The biggest gainer in dollar terms is Qin Yinglin, the world’s richest pig breeder. He’s ranked No. 43 and is worth $18.5 billion–a $14.2 billion jump since the 2019 list after shares of his Shenzhen-listed Muyuan Foods nearly tripled as the African swine flu reduced the supply of pigs and drove up prices.

Altogether, 267 people who made last year’s list have dropped off as businesses faltered; among the most notable drop-offs is Adam Neumann of WeWork. Another 21 people died. Still, Forbes found 178 newcomers hailing from 20 countries, including some, like Zoom Video Communications’ founder and CEO Eric Yuan. The U.S. remains the country with the most billionaires, with 614, followed by greater China (including Hong Kong and Macao), with 456.

The richest people on Earth are not immune to the Coronavirus, the report pointed out.  As the pandemic tightened its grip on Europe and America, global equity markets imploded, tanking many fortunes. US President Donald Trump’s ranking slipped to 352 from 275. His net worth fell to $2.5 billion from $3.1 billion, as his hotels and resorts business suffered owing to the pandemic.

As of March 18, when the list was finalised, Forbes counted 2,095 billionaires, 58 fewer than a year ago and 226 fewer than just 12 days earlier. Of the billionaires who remain, 51 per cent are poorer than they were last year. In raw terms, the world’s billionaires are worth $8 trillion, down $700 billion from 2019.  The Youngest Billionaire is Kylie Jenner (22). A total of 178 newcomers joined the 2020 Billionaires List

Top 10 rich men in the world: Jeff Bezos $113 B (Amazon), Bill Gates (Microsoft), Bernard Arnault and Family (Fashion & Retail), Warren Buffett (Finance & Investments), Larry Ellison (Technology) Amancio Ortega (Fashion & Retail),  Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook),  Jim Walton (Walmart) Alice Walton (Walmart) and Rob Walton (Walmart).  Mukesh Ambani is ranked no 21 worth $36.8 billion

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