Bill Gates gives away $4.6bn in Microsoft shares to charity

Jasper Jolly
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Bill and Melinda Gates are two of the world's most prominent philanthropists (Source: Getty)

Bill Gates has given away $4.6bn (£3.6bn) in shares in Microsoft, in his biggest charitable donation since 2000.

The world’s richest man gave away 64m shares in the firm to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the development charity he runs with his wife, in June, according to a filing to the US regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Nasdaq-listed shares were worth $72.52 on the day they were gifted.

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The gift corresponds to around five per cent of his wealth, estimated at $90.8bn by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Gates is one of the world’s most prominent philanthropists, with his foundation pursuing health-related projects around the world, focusing particularly on preventable deaths.

He is one of the main signatories, along with the world’s richest investor, Warren Buffett, to the Giving Pledge, in which billionaires promise to give away the majority of their wealth to charity.

The largest previous donation from the Microsoft founder came in 2000, when he gave away $5.1bn, according to Bloomberg. He previously gave away $16bn in 1999.

Gates was briefly surpassed last month as the world’s richest person on paper by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. However, a subsequent retreat in the value of Amazon’s shares made the rise short-lived.

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