Economy

Battle of the billionaires

Jeff Bezos is on track to claim his place as the richest person on the planet.

Jeff Bezos may have just overtaken Bill Gates to reclaim the distinction of richest person in the world, after Amazon reported earnings that beat expectations, sending the stock up 8% in after-hours trading. The stock climbed 8.6% to $1,056 at 9:31am in NY, a day after the retailer reported results that beat Wall Street estimates.

With an extra $6.44 billion, Bezos passes Bill Gates to be the richest person in the world, according to data from Bloomberg.

Bezos' previous stint at the top of the billionaires list came after the company's second-quarter earnings. And thanks to a surge in Amazon share price, he's now the richest of world's rich men, CNBC reports.

Bezos also led the way on a morning that lifted the fortunes of some of the richest technology billionaires in the U.S. by a combined US$17 billion.

Gates also added to his fortune Friday morning with the rise in Microsoft stock after its earnings. The wealth of the world's billionaires increased by an average of 17% a year ago, at a rate far higher than the general population. The move boosted Bezos's net worth by as much as $6.6 billion.

Gates has given away nearly 700 million Microsoft shares and US$2.9 billion of cash and other assets since 1996, according to an analysis of his publicly disclosed giving. Bezos is worth about $90.6 billion now.



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