Business & Economy

World’s billionaires boost fortunes with share sales

New York, Dec 3 (EFE).- The world’s top billionaires Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Mark Zuckberg not only became richer during the first year of the pandemic but continue to boost their fortunes this year by selling off shares at top prices amid potential taxation changes.

The business of company leaders shedding shares hit record numbers in 2021, with combined sales totalling $69 billion so far, more than 30% more than the year before.

This figure, calculated by InsiderScore/Verity, an insider trading analyst firm, is down to a “combination of factors,” director of research, Ben Silverman told Efe.

Soaring stock prices has seen some business leaders act “opportunistically,” he added.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who now focuses on his space tourism company Blue Origin, has sold off more than his peers with a price totalling $9.97 billion this year using the so-called 10b5-1 plan, a mechanism established by the Securities and Exchange Commission that permits insiders to sell off a certain number of shares at a predetermined time.

Silverman points out that Bezos’ sales were not “unusual” and that he sold more in 2020.

Another one of the world’s richest men, Tesla founder Elon Musk, was less predictable.

Tusk had not sold a single share since Tesla first listed its initial public offering (IPO) in 2010, but that changed this year when on November 6 he asked his Twitter followers to vote on whether he should cash in on some of his shares.

When the answer came back “yes,” Tusk went on to sell $5.4 billion in just one month.

The founder of Facebook — which now goes by the name Meta —, Mark Zuckerberg, has made $4.47 billion so far this year with almost daily share sales while Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have made $1.5 billion and the United States’ richest family, the Waltons, owners of Walmart, made $6.18 billion

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