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Bill Gates joins Jeff Bezos as the only two members of the $100 billion club

Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates, once the world’s richest person, has again eclipsed the $100 billion threshold, joining Amazon.com Inc.’s Jeff Bezos in the exclusive club, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

world Updated: Mar 20, 2019 09:13 IST
Devon Pendleton  and Tom Metcalf
Devon Pendleton and Tom Metcalf
Bloomberg
Jeff Bezos,Bill gates,Microsoft Corporation
Gates has donated more than $35 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and said he intends to give away at least half of his wealth.(AP)

Bloomberg tracks the fortunes of some 2,800 billionaires. Of those, 145 are worth at least $10 billion, making them decabillionaires. Now, the world contains two centibillionaires simultaneously.

Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates, once the world’s richest person, has again eclipsed the $100 billion threshold, joining Amazon.com Inc.’s Jeff Bezos in the exclusive club, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Gates’s fortune, now $100 billion on the nose, hasn’t reached such heights since the dot-com boom, when Bezos was only beginning his march up the world’s wealth rankings. The Amazon founder is now worth $145.6 billion, having added $20.7 billion this year alone, while Gates has gained $9.5 billion.

These two fortunes underscore a widening wealth gap in the U.S., where those with the most capital are accumulating riches the fastest. It’s also a worldwide trend. France’s Bernard Arnault has an $86.2 billion fortune, equal to about 3 percent of his country’s economy. The net worth of Spain’s Amancio Ortega represents 5 percent of that nation’s gross domestic product. And then there’s Bidzina Ivanishvili, whose worth about a third of Georgia’s GDP.

The Gates and Bezos mega-fortunes may not last long. Gates has donated more than $35 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and said he intends to give away at least half of his wealth. Bezos, meanwhile, may be about to cede some of his fortune for a different reason: he and his wife Mackenzie are divorcing.

Bloomberg Billionaires Index ranks the world’s 500 wealthiest individuals. This year’s biggest losers in that group include Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk.

First Published: Mar 20, 2019 09:13 IST