NEW YORK • Jeff Bezos is the world’s newest US$100 billion (RM412 billion) mogul.
The Amazon.com Inc founder’s fortune is up US$2.4 billion to US$100.3 billion, as the online retailer’s shares jumped more than 2% on optimism for Black Friday sales. Online purchases for the day are up 18.4% over last year, according to data from Adobe Analytics, and investors are betting the company will take an outsized share of online spending over the gifting season.
The US$100 billion milestone makes Bezos, 53, the first billionaire to build a 12-figure net worth since 1999, when Microsoft Corp co-founder Bill Gates hit the mark.
Bezos’ fortune rose US$32.6 billion this year through last Thursday, the largest increase of anyone on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a daily ranking of the world’s 500 richest people.
Amazon have climbed 5% this week alone.
As Bezos’ wealth flirts with new heights, there’s likely to be more questions about what he intends to do with it. Unlike Gates, who was the world’s richest person until Bezos passed him in October, or US investor Warren Buffett, the world’s third-richest person with US$78.9 billion, Bezos has given relatively little of his fortune to charity.
Bezos is only just starting to focus on philanthropy, and in June tweeted a request for ideas on how to help people.
Since 2002, Bezos has given away Amazon shares worth about US$500 million at current prices, according to a Bloomberg analysis of Form 4 filings.
The billionaire said in April that he sells US$1 billion of Amazon stock every year to fund his space business Blue Origin LLC.