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Jeff Bezos adds US$13.2 billion to his fortune in minutes

Jeff Bezos just got a whole lot richer.

Jeff Bezos is already the richest person in the world.

Shares of his Amazon.com Inc. surged 12 per cent to US$2,100 in extended trading at 4:16 p.m. Thursday in New York, after the largest US e-commerce company reported fourth-quarter results that smashed Wall Street estimates.

Bezos, already the world’s richest person, added US$13.2 billion to his fortune in about 15 minutes. At the current price, his net worth would be about US$129.5 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Amazon shares increased 12 per cent in extended trading yesterday.

Bezos, 56, owns about 12 per cent of Amazon’s outstanding stock, making up the bulk of his fortune. His ownership of closely held Blue Origin accounts for about US$6.2 billion. The late surge Thursday added more than US$90 billion to Amazon’s market value, pushing it above US$1 trillion.

His ex-wife, MacKenzie Bezos, 49, also has reason to celebrate, as she owns about four per cent of the Seattle-based retailer. She started the day as the world’s 24th-richest person, with a US$37.1 billion fortune.

Bezos’ ex-wide, Mackenzie, owns four per cent of Amazon and will also see her wealth increase. (Photo: businessinsider.com)

Bezos wasn’t the only tech titan with dramatic changes to their net worth this week following company earnings. Elon Musk’s fortune swelled by US$2.3 billion in an hour Wednesday after shares of Tesla Inc. rose in extended trading on better-than-expected results. Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer also saw huge gains after Microsoft Corp. reported results. Mark Zuckerberg’s fortune tumbled US$4 billion as Facebook shares slid on its slowest-ever quarterly sales growth.

Bloomberg’s wealth ranking officially updates after the close of each trading day in the U.S., so Amazon’s latest surge, if it holds, won’t be reflected until after Friday’s close.

–Bloomberg