Jeff Bezos sells off a million Amazon shares for $1.1bn to fund Blue Origin space ambitions

 
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Jeff Bezos is currently the richest man in the world (Source: Getty)

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos sold off another sliver of his stake in the company this week, as the stock soared to record levels.

Shares in Amazon surged last week, putting the price above $1,100 for the first time ever. The increase came as the tech firm revealed that the success of its Alexa had helped to push up sales by more than a third.

Jeff Bezos took the opportunity to sell another tranche of a million shares, maintaining a previously-announced commitment to raising $1bn a year through stock sales in order to fund his space company Blue Origin, which he hopes could take paying customers into space as early as 2018.

This sell-off netted the billionaire $1.1bn (£840m), relinquishing 1.3 per cent of his overall holding in the company. He still owns nearly 79 million shares, and with the stock now routinely on the up he could be in for an even bigger payout next time.

The jump in Amazon's value made Bezos the richest man in the world for the second time this year, after briefly overtaking Bill Gates in July before losing the crown the next day. This time he has held onto the title for a full week so far.

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