Jeff Bezos could become world's first trillionaire in the next 25 years

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos presenting the company's first smartphone, the Fire Phone, in Seattle, Washington on June 17, 2014.
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos presenting the company's first smartphone, the Fire Phone, in Seattle, Washington on June 17, 2014.PHOTO: AFP/GETTY IMAGES

NEW YORK - Jeff Bezos could become the world's first trillionaire, research suggested, adding that the Amazon founder may be closer to achieving the goal within the next 25 years.

According to an Oxfam report on wealth and inequality, there were 793 billionaires worldwide in 2009 whose net worths totaled US$2.4 trillion (S$3.2 trillion). By 2016, the richest 793 people maintained net worths of US$5 trillion - an annual growth of 11 per cent.

"If these returns continue, it is quite possible that we could see the world's first trillionaire within 25 years," the report stated.

In other words, Oxfam estimates that if trends hold, Mr Bezos - whose momentary net worth of US$92.3 billion briefly led the pack on Bloomberg's Billionaire Index on Thursday, before Mr Gates reclaimed the top spot - could stand alone on future lists of "The World's Trillionaires", according to Business Insider.

The Oxfam report, titled "An economy for the 99%", found super-rich people like Mr Bezos, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffett have seen their wealth collectively grow by huge margins over the last decade. Within the next 25 years, Mr Bezos' wealth could jump like never seen before.

Mr Bezos's fortune peaked at US$92.3 billion at 11:59 a.m. last Thursday when Amazon shares reached an intraday high of US$1,083.31. By the Friday close, shares had dropped to US$1020.04, a 2.5 per cent decline that was the biggest in seven weeks.

Mr Gates has held the No. 1 spot on the index since May 16, 2013, even as Mr Bezos has closed the gap with a two-year surge that's added US$40.3 billion to his net worth.

The world's third-richest person is Spain's Amancio Ortega, who's added US$10.5 billion this year and has a net worth of US$82.7 billion.