Paris (AFP) – Amazon chief Jeff Bezos is now the world’s richest person, having snatched the top spot from Microsoft founder Bill Gates who slips to second place, according to Forbes magazine’s annual billionaires list published Tuesday.
US President Donald Trump’s ranking on the list fell to 766th place from 544th in the last edition, his wealth now being estimated at $3.1 billion, $400 million less than a year ago.
Bezos’ fortune shot up to $112 billion, Forbes said, after a 59-percent rise in Amazon shares over the past 12 months that put him way ahead of the $90 billion listed for Gates.
After the announcement, Bezos’ worth rocketed again to $127 billion in line with a spike in Amazon stock, widening the gap between him and Gates.
Legendary investor Warren Buffett held on to his number-three ranking, followed by French industrialist Bernard Arnault, who jumped to fourth-richest person from his previous number 11 spot, mostly thanks to euro strength against the dollar, the magazine said.
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg was fifth on the list.
Two Chinese billionaires rose to be among the 20 richest people in the world: Ma Huateng, CEO of Chinese internet giant Tencent who is the richest person in Asia and number 17 in the world, and Alibaba founder Jack Ma.
There are now a record 2,208 billionaires in the world, Forbes counted, and their combined worth is $9.1 trillion, up 18 percent from last year.
The US has the most billionaires (585), followed by mainland China (373).
Forbes’ list contains 259 newcomers, including the first-ever cryptocurrency billionaires.
Falling fortunes or political headwinds, meanwhile, pushed 121 people out of the illustrious list, including all 10 Saudi Arabians, the magazine said.