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Saturday, July 07, 2018, 14:07
Zuckerberg tops Buffett as world's third richest person
By Bloomberg
Saturday, July 07, 2018, 14:07 By Bloomberg

In this June 21, 2017 file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during preparation for the Facebook Communities Summit, in Chicago. (NAM Y HUH / AP)

Facebook Inc co-founder Mark Zuckerberg has overtaken Warren Buffett as the world’s third-richest person, further solidifying technology as the most robust creator of wealth.

It’s the first time that the three wealthiest people on the ranking made their fortunes from technology

Zuckerberg, who trails only Inc founder Jeff Bezos and Microsoft Corp co-founder Bill Gates, eclipsed Buffett Friday as Facebook shares climbed 2.4 percent, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

It’s the first time that the three wealthiest people on the ranking made their fortunes from technology. Zuckerberg, 34, is now worth US$81.6 billion, about US$373 million more than Buffett, the 87-year-old chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

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Zuckerberg’s ascent has been driven by investors’ continued embrace of Facebook, the social-network giant that shook off the fallout from a data-privacy crisis that hammered its shares, sending them to an eight-month low of US$152.22 on March 27. The stock closed Friday at a record US$203.23.

In this June 14, 2016 photo, investor Warren Buffett speaks during the "United State of Women Summit" at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. (YURI GRIPAS / AFP)

Technology fortunes make up about a fifth of the more than US$5 trillion in wealth tracked by the Bloomberg index, more than any other sector. The ranking, which tracks the world’s 500 richest people, is updated after the close of each trading day in New York.

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Buffett, once the world’s wealthiest person, is sliding in the ranking thanks to his charitable giving, which he kicked off in earnest in 2006. He’s donated about 290 million Berkshire Hathaway Class B shares to charities, most of it to Gates’s foundation. Those shares are now worth more than US$50 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. 

Zuckerberg has pledged to give away 99 percent of his Facebook stock in his lifetime.

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