Tech billionaires’ wealth increases by $81 billion in 2015

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Tech entrepreneurs managed to buck a trend that saw $19 billion wiped from the wealth of the world’s billionaires in 2015.

Tech bosses like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg saw their fortunes balloon by $81 billion (£54.8 billion) or 13.8%, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Bezos, who also owns US newspaper the Washington Post and a 3% stake in Business Insider, accounted for about 40% of that growth after more than doubling his wealth. 

He is worth $59.3 billion, the Index shows.

Zuckerberg, the world’s eighth richest man according to the ranking, has become $11.6 billion better off so far this year, giving him a $46.1 billion fortune.     

Earlier this month he pledged to donate 99% of his Facebook shares, worth around $45 billion, through his and his wife Priscilla’s Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

Microsoft’s Bill Gates, who remains the world’s richest man with $83.6 billion at his disposal, wasn’t so fortunate, however. The Microsoft co-founder has lost $3 billion in the last year.  

Outside tech, those in the financial world also managed to boost their wealth. The likes of investor George Soros and Point72 Asset Management founder Steve Cohen became $5.7 billion richer.

Communications, commodities and consumer goods billionaires were among the losers.

They were hit by falling commodities prices and the China’s slowdown, which spooked investors, Bloomberg said.

The world’s richest people

1. Bill Gates – $83.6bn

2. Amancio Ortega – $73.2bn

3. Warren Buffett – $62.5bn

4. Jeff Bezos – $59.3bn

5. Carlos Slim – $53bn

6= Charles Koch – $50.4bn

6= David Koch – $50.4bn

8. Mark Zuckerberg – $46.1bn

9. Larry Page – $40.1bn

10. Larry Ellison – $39.9bn

Mexico’s Carlos Slim was hit the hardest and saw his wealth shrink by $19.6 billion, reflecting the 25% decline in shares of his America Movil telecommunications firm.

US billionaires lost a collective $21 billion, while Europeans gained by the same amount. China’s billionaires meanwhile raked in another $38 billion.

In the UK, billionaires were up by $1.4 billion – a 2% rise compared with 2014.

The boss of London-based real estate firm Grosvenor Group and Duke of Westminster, Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, was the UK’s wealthiest citizen.

Ranked at number 57 in the world, he worth was estimated at $14 billion, $623 million or 4.6% more than last year.

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December 29, 2015 |
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