Bezos Fortune Rises As Amazon Stock Soars In Coronavirus Crisis

Lisa Smith, BA (Hons), CeFA
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Every cloud has a silver lining – especially for billionaire boss of Amazon Jeff Bezos.

The great coronavirus lockdown has seen the number of shoppers flocking to his online store soar and boosted his fortune by almost a quarter to $138 billion.

As Amazon creaks under the weight of orders from stay-at-home customers, the price of the company’s stock has surged.

The firm has taken on tens of thousands of extra warehouse and delivery staff and can barely cope with demand.

Bezos has an 11% stake in Amazon, which has spiralled in value with the share price jumping 5.3% in a single day.

Coronavirus billionaire winners

Other billionaires to benefit from the coronavirus outbreak are the US Walton family, owners of supermarket giant Wal-Mart in the States and Asda in the UK.

Their family fortune has increased 5% this year to a massive $169 billion, but as individuals, they are still lagging Bezos.

Zoom founder Eric Yuan has seen his wealth double to $7.4 billion as families, friends and businesses have switched onto his video conferencing software.

Although some billionaires have profited from the life changing impact of the coronavirus pandemic, others have not fared as well.

According to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index listing the world’s 500 richest has seen several rocket in value. Overall, their total net worth has plunged by a huge $553 billion this year.

Coronavirus billionaire losers

Luxury brands retailer Bernard Arnault has suffered the worst as shoppers are kept away from stores.

The Louis Vuitton, Tiffany jewellery and Moet champagne mogul has seen $28 billion wiped off his fortune, although he still has $77 billion in the bank.

The Koch family, with riches tied up in oil refineries and pipelines have lost more than $18 billion down to just under $106 billion between them due to the oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia and the general malaise in oil due to factory shutdowns and a glut of crude on the world market.

Industrial conglomerate investor Warren Buffet has seen his wealth tumble by $13 billion to $75 billion and technology gurus like Microsoft’s Bill Gates (-$8.4 billion down to $105 billion) and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg (-$10.3 billion falling to $68 billion) have also seen the cash in their wallets shrink.

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