Who will be the world’s first trillionaire?

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos could win the crown as early as 2026 as more tech giants become trillion-dollar companies, a study by Comparisun finds

epa07853656 Founder and CEO of Amazon Jeff Bezos participates in the unveiling of an Amazon environmental initiative entitled 'The Climate Pledge', in Washington, DC, USA, 19 September 2019. Amazon's new environmental initiative aims to meet the goals of the Paris environmental agreement ten years early, or in 2040. Amazon has acquired one hundred thousand new electric delivery vehicles as part of that aim.  EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS
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Despite losing an estimated $38 billion (Dh139bn) in his recent divorce settlement, the net worth of Amazon boss Jeff Bezos grew by 34 per cent on average over the past five years – putting him on track to become the world's first trillionaire in 2026, a new study by Comparisun found.

Of the 25 people analysed for the study, "only 11 realistically have a chance of becoming a trillionaire during their lifetime, based on their recent rate of wealth growth", said the report by the business and community platform.

Mr Bezos, the world's richest person with an estimated net worth of $110bn, was the first to hit $100bn and could become a trillionaire at age 62. Next in line is Xu Jiayin, chairman and largest shareholder of Chinese real estate developer Evergrande Group, who could join him in 2027 at age 68.

Meanwhile, Jack Ma, who retired as Alibaba chairman this month at age 55, could become a trillionaire in 2030. Mark Zuckerberg could be the world's youngest trillionare at age 51, but that will not be until 2036.

The study analysed the market capitalisation of the 25 highest valued companies on the New York Stock Exchange, according to researcher Macrotrends, and the net worth of the world's richest 25 people, according to Forbes, as of September 16. Comparisun applied the average yearly percentage growth over the past five years on future years, to estimate how long it would take to reach the trillion-dollar mark.

Apple became the world's first trillion-dollar company last August, followed by Amazon a month later, although it has now dropped below the threshold. Microsoft joined the club this April.

Through its analysis, Comparisun forecasts that more trillion-dollar companies and the first trillionaires are on the horizon.

Others on the trillionaire forecast include Chinese businessman Ma Huateng, the founder and chief executive of tech giant Tencent; India’s Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries; French LVMH chief executive Bernard Arnault; former Microsoft chief executive Steve Balmer; Dell founder and chief executive Michael Dell; and Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

Notably missing is Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who has a current net worth of around $105bn, but with an average yearly growth of only 5 per cent, he would not become a trillionaire in his lifetime, the Comparisun study found.

As for companies, Google seems set to join Apple and Microsoft in hitting the $1tn mark in 2020 and Amazon will also get back on the list next year. Facebook, which has a current market capitalisation of around $533bn, has seen an average growth of 24 per cent over the past five years and could join the club in 2022.

Next in line would be Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and payment technology company Visa, which could both hit $1tn valuation by 2023. Rounding off the top 10 are Alibaba, MasterCard and JP Morgan Chase.