Bill Gates makes largest donation since 2000 with $4.6-billion pledge

Bill Gates

Comparatively, in 1996, Gates' stake in Microsoft was 24 percent, Bloomberg said.

According to an SEC filing released Monday, Gates made his largest donation to charity since 2000 - 64 million shares of Microsoft stock valued at $4.6 billion.

The recipient of this very big gift is unspecified in the regulatory filing, but if past practice holds, it's likely the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, helping to fuel the philanthropy's work in US education and global health.

For some one preoccupied with saving the world, Gates' time on Instagram will most likely be a curated story telling experience that helps put a focus on the work of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, but even Gates has to post the occasional foodie pic.

Bill Gates has a long history of giving up his Microsoft shares.

Mr Gates has probably directed more than 700 million shares of Microsoft into the foundation, adjusting for stock splits. That was the year Gates stepped down as Microsoft CEO, handing over the reins to the controversial Steve Ballmer.

The billionaire set up the Giving Pledge with Warren Buffett, which "is a commitment by the world's wealthiest individuals and families to dedicate the majority of their wealth to giving back".

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has spent billions of dollars on aid projects worldwide in recent years, much of it in Africa. Jeff Bezos is once again in spitting distance of being the richest human in the world. Mr Bezos, whose fortune has risen 30 per cent since Jan 1, briefly leapfrogged Mr Gates to become the world's richest person based on intraday prices last month.

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