Bill Gates' stake in Microsoft is now just 1.3 percent

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These sizeable donations have turned the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation into the world's largest private charity with $40.3 billion of funds (before the latest donation). The shares were valued at $4.6 billion at that time, reports Bloomberg.

Previously, Gates gave away $16 billion (Rs 1.02 lakh crore) worth of Microsoft shares in 1999 and $5.1 billion (Rs 32,708 crore) in 2000.

A spokeswoman for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation declined to say why the billionaire changed his pattern of giving, or whether there would be similarly larger donations in the future, the Journal said. Gates now holds less than 2 per cent of Microsoft's shares.

It is not clear whether Gates will remain in the top spot at the rate his charity donations are going, but the latest $4.6 billion share donation represents approximately 5 percent of Gates' current $90bn fortune.

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Foundation officials did not respond to The Chronicle's requests to confirm where the shares were going. At this rate, with a little over 100 million shares left to his name, according to his last SEC filing, the tech mogul will have no more stock in his company by the middle of 2019. In 2010, they established the Giving Pledge along with fellow billionaire Warren Buffett to commit the majority of their wealth to charity.

Gates probably has directed more than 700 million shares of Microsoft into the foundation, adjusting for stock splits, and he would be about US$50 billion richer today had he kept them.

Gates' estimated net worth is $89.9 billion, as of July 2017.

Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft and perennial richest man in the world, has joined Instagram.

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