Google co-founders join $100billion club

The elite club of people with fortunes of more than $100bn (£73bn) has opened its doors to two new members following a rally in tech shares.

Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin joined the centibillionaires group last week, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, after adding more than $20bn each to their wealth this year.

Page is currently the world’s sixth wealthiest person with a fortune of $103.6bn while Brin, worth $100.2bn, comes in at eighth.

Other members include Amazon’s boss Jeff Bezos, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Tesla’s Elon Musk, Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffet and Bernard Arnault of France’s luxury group LVMH.

The ranks of the centibillionaires have gradually expanded over the last three years as booming equities, in particular a rally in technology companies, has propelled their founders’ wealth even higher.

Together, the world’s eight richest people have added $110bn to their fortunes this year and boast a combined wealth of more than $1 trillion – equivalent to around a third of the UK’s GDP.

Gates was the first person to hit the $100bn milestone in July 1999 during the dotcom boom, but his wealth slumped back as Microsoft share price fell back. He rejoined the ranks in 2019 and currently has a fortune of $144.6bn.

Bezos tops the list with a fortune of £196.6bn, after adding more than $6.3bn to his wealth this year. He joined the group in 2017 in the wake of Amazon’s surging share price which saw it become a trillion dollar company a year later.

However, it is Musk’s rise that has been particularly meteoric after Tesla became one of the big winners of booming interest in technology stocks during the pandemic. Its shares are up more than 400pc over the last 12 months leaving Musk worth $175bn and the world’s second richest person.

Musk has added $5.1bn to his wealth this year, bringing his fortune to $174.8bn.

Google’s share price is up 31pc so far this year, making it one of the fastest climbing Big Tech stocks outpacing Amazon, Apple and Facebook. Its shares are trading at an all time high giving it a market cap of $1.5tn.

It follows figures by Forbes’ last week which revealed almost 90pc of the world’s billionaires are richer than a year ago, despite the pandemic having sent shockwaves through the corporate world.

According to the list, there are a total of 2,755 billionaires in the world whose fortunes add up to $13.1 trillion, a significant jump on the year before when there were 660 billionaires worth a combined $8 trillion.

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