By Ruvarashe Dhliwayo
E-COMMERCE giant Amazon owner Jeff Bezos remains the world’s wealthiest person for the third year in a row, according to the Forbes Billionaires 2020 list.
He is worth $113 billion.
Amazon’s shares rose by 15 percent since 2019 at the back of increased demand from consumers ‘locked down’ at home as a result of the corona virus pandemic.
Staying at home has increased the need for people to shop online.
The pandemic has however affected the operations of other major companies resulting in most filling for bankruptcy over the past year.
Companies that have been affected include top American oil and gas drillers Whiting Petroleum and Diamond Offshore, American retailer J Crew, industrial battery maker Exide Technologies, Canadian oil field service provider Calfac, South African retailer Edcon and NMC health care, a large hospital operator in United Arab Emirates.
Airlines were not spared as the lockdown resulted in less people traveling.
Those affected include Mexico’s largest airline Aeromexico, Romanian airline Blue Air and Avianca a Latin American airliner.
According to Forbes, 267 people who made last year’s list dropped off as businesses faltered.
Another 21 people died.
However, 178 newcomers made the list including Zoom video communication founder and CEO Eric Yuan.
Bill Gates remained on second position, followed by luxury goods tycoon Bernard Arnault.
Heir to the Walmart fortune, Alice Walton is the world’s richest woman ranked nine.