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Amazon's Jeff Bezos sees wealth grow by $24bn during coronavirus

Kalila Sangster
·2-min read
Jeff Bezos headshot, Amazon founder and CEO, graphic element on gray
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is the world's richest man, with a fortune of $138bn. (AP)

Amazon (AMZN) founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has increased his fortune by $24bn (£19bn) during the coronavirus pandemic.

With demand for online shopping skyrocketing due to lockdowns around the world, Amazon’s share price rose by 5.3% to reach a record high on Tuesday.

Bezos owns an 11% stake in the firm and the new boost to his wealth has taken his total fortune to $138bn, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, firmly establishing his place as the world's richest man.

Amazon has had to recruit thousands of new workers to cope with the demand during the coronavirus pandemic but has come under criticism from warehouse workers in the US over workplace health and safety measures.

Bezos has pledged to donate $100m to US food banks to support Americans who are losing their jobs and incomes during the ongoing pandemic.

The coronavirus pandemic has also brought financial gains for the the Walton family, owners of retail giant Wal-Mart (WMT), which owns Asda in the UK.

The Waltons have seen their net worth increase by 5% this year, rising to $169bn, making them the world's richest family, according to Bloomberg.

The founder of online conferencing app Zoom (ZM), Eric Yuan, has seen his wealth more than double to $7.4bn. Millions of people have started using the platform for working from home and communicating with friends and family during coronavirus lockdowns across the globe.

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However, the coronavirus pandemic has not brought good news to all of the world’s wealth — the world's 500 richest people have lost a combined $553bn so far this year, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, as economies around the world have been hit by COVID-19.

Investors in the global oil and gas industries have seen sharp drops in net worth as crude prices plunged on reduced global demand as a price war broke out between Saudi Arabia and Russia.

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