Billionaire shuffle: Gates briefly not world’s richest man

The overnight boom in tech stocks made a few billionaires even richer when they woke up Friday — and helped Bill Gates fend off a brief challenge to his title as world’s richest man.

Citing Forbesreal-time tracker, news reports on Friday said that Spanish retailing tycoon Amancio Ortega’s fortune was now worth $79.8 billion, supplanting Gates.

Amancio Ortega

Xurxo Lobato | Getty Images
Amancio Ortega

Ortega is the co-founder of Zara, the European clothing empire owned by Inditex, in which he has a reported 60 percent stake. His fortune has been quietly and steadily marching higher over the past few years, in tandem with the company’s share gains.

But while Ortega’s wealth jumped a reported $4 billion on Thursday, Gates’ fortune also got a bump following Microsoft‘s earnings beat and subsequent share increase.

Gates’ shares gained more than $1.1 billion, meaning he is now worth $79.3 billion, according to the Forbes tracker. Meanwhile, Ortega is back down to $78.5 billion, according to the list.

And while he’s not yet duking it out for the top honor, it was AmazonCEO Jeff Bezos who was the biggest wealth winner over the past 24 hours. He added roughly $3 billion to his fortune after the company’s big earnings beat.

According to Bloomberg, Bezos was worth $50 billion before the gain. That means he pushed past the Koch brothers to become the nation’s third-richest man, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. That list places Charles and David Koch’s net worth at $51.7 billion apiece.

The guys at Google have also had a good day. Co-founder Larry Page’s shares gained more than $1.1 billion in value over the past 24 hours, while Sergey Brin’s gained a little more than $1 billion.

It’s worth noting, however, that all of that wealth is just on paper.

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