Amazon's Jeff Bezos is now world's No. 2 richest

 Top billionaires: 2. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos US$75.6 billion
Top billionaires: 2. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos US$75.6 billion PHOTOS: REUTERS, EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY
 Top billionaires: 1. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates US$86 billion
Top billionaires: 1. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates US$86 billion PHOTOS: REUTERS, EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY
 Top billionaires: 3 Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett US$74.9 billion
Top billionaires: 3 Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett US$74.9 billion PHOTOS: REUTERS, EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY
 Top billionaires: 4 Inditex fashion group founder Amancio Ortega US$74.2 billion
Top billionaires: 4 Inditex fashion group founder Amancio Ortega US$74.2 billionPHOTOS: REUTERS, EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY
 Top billionaires: 5 Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg US$61.4 billion
Top billionaires: 5 Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg US$61.4 billionPHOTOS: REUTERS, EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

SAN FRANCISCO • Mr Jeff Bezos has leapt past Mr Amancio Ortega and Mr Warren Buffett to become the world's second-richest person.

Mr Bezos, 53, added US$1.5 billion (S$2.1 billion) to his fortune as Amazon.com's stock rose US$18.32 on Wednesday, the day after the e-commerce giant said it plans to buy Dubai-based online retailer Souq.com

The Amazon founder has a net worth of US$75.6 billion on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, US$700 million more than Berkshire Hathaway's Mr Buffett and US$1.4 billion above Mr Ortega, founder of fashion group Inditex and Europe's richest person.

He has added US$10.2 billion this year to his wealth and US$7 billion since the global equities rally began, following the election of Mr Donald Trump as United States president on Nov 8 last year.

The rise is the third biggest on the Bloomberg index this year, after Chinese parcel-delivery billionaire Wang Wei's US$18.4 billion gain and an US$11.4 billion rise for Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Mr Buffett, who has added US$1.7 billion this year, has shed US$4.7 billion since his fortune peaked at US$79.6 billion on March 1.

Mr Ortega is up US$2.1 billion in the year to date.

Mr Bezos remains US$10.4 billion behind Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, the world's richest person with US$86 billion.

A billionaires' list released by Forbes magazine last week also put Mr Gates at the top. The list, which has more than 2,000 names, showed Mr Trump slipping more than 200 spots.

Mr Gates led the Forbes list for the fourth straight year and has been ranked as the richest person in the world for 18 of the past 23 years.

Among the top 10 billionaires on the list, a group heavily dominated by Americans, many from the technology sector, Mr Gates was followed by Mr Buffett, while Mr Bezos rose to No. 3 with a US$27.6 billion increase in his fortune to US$72.8 billion.

Facebook co-creator Mark Zuckerberg was No. 5 and Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison was No. 7.

"Booming stock markets, higher commodity prices and plain old-fashioned entrepreneurship helped make this a record year in terms of wealth creation around the globe," Forbes editors Luisa Kroll and Kerry Dolan said at the time.

There are 183 tech billionaires in all with a combined US$1 trillion in wealth, Forbes said. The global population of billionaires rose 13 per cent from last year to a record 2,043.

The US had the most billionaires with 565, a product of the swelling value of the American stock market since Mr Trump's election. China was second with 319 billionaires, and Germany was third with 114.

BLOOMBERG, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 31, 2017, with the headline 'Amazon's Jeff Bezos is now world's No. 2 richest'. Print Edition | Subscribe