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Forbes magazine has named the Amazon founder and chief executive, Jeff Bezos, as the world’s richest man with 112bn dollar fortune.
Bezos replaced the Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates, who fell back into second place with $90bn.
Forbes calculated that Bezos’s fortune, which is mostly held in Amazon shares, increased by 39.2bn dollars over the past year.
The biggest ever one-year gain. Amazon’s shares have nearly doubled from 846 dollars a share last March to 1,523 dollars per share last night.
Gates, who had topped the Forbes billionaires list for 18 of the last 24 years, saw his fortune rose modestly from 86bn to 90bn dollars.
Collectively, the world’s 2,208 billionaires hold 9.1tn dollars more than three times the gross domestic product (GDP) of the UK.
The billionaires increased their combined wealth by 1.4bn dollars over the past year.
The list is published in Forbes’s latest edition under the headline “The super-rich continue to get richer, widening the gap between them and everyone else”.
Twelve out of the top 15 richest people are from the US, with investor Warren Buffett in third place (with $84bn) and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg in fifth ($71bn).
France’s Bernard Arnault of luxury goods group LVMH is the richest person from outside of the US with a $72bn fortune.
The number of women on the list increased from 227 to 256. A record 72 of the women made their own fortunes.
The world’s richest self-made woman is Hong Kong’s Zhou Qunfei, founder of smartphone screen maker Lens Technology.