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Bill Gates gave US$519m to foundation last year

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Bill and Melinda Gates contributed US$519 million of cash and stock to their namesake foundation in 2019.

[WASHINGTON] Bill and Melinda Gates contributed US$519 million of cash and stock to their namesake foundation in 2019.

The gift, among the biggest in global philanthropy last year, helped boost the endowment of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust to US$49.8 billion as of Dec 31, up from US$46.8 billion a year earlier, according to its latest financial statements.

Bill Gates, the Microsoft co-founder, also donated US$560 million of investment-management services to the Seattle-based nonprofit in 2019, up from US$523 million in 2018, according to the filing.

The couple's private foundation is the world's largest, and its resources are focused on fighting the novel coronavirus, Mr Bill Gates has said.

The couple's 2019 donations were still dwarfed by Warren Buffett's annual gift of Berkshire Hathaway stock to their foundation. He gave US$2.7 billion shares in July, bringing his total contributions to more than US$27 billion since August 2006.

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While Mr Buffett's gifts have followed a regular trajectory over the years, those from the Gateses have varied. They gave about US$44 million in cash and stock in 2018 and US$4.6 billion of stock a year earlier.

Even 10-figure contributions haven't done much to diminish Mr Bill Gates's fortune. He's the world's second-richest person with a net worth of US$108 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Mr Buffett ranks fifth with US$68 billion.

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