ROCKET BUILDER BE­ZOS IS ON A SELL­ING SPREE

Pretoria News - - FOCUS -

JEFF BE­ZOS is on a sell­ing spree. Stock dis­pos­als by Ama­zon.com’s founder and chief ex­ec­u­tive over the past week have reached 1.7 mil­lion shares, or $3.45 bil­lion (R52.01bn), ac­cord­ing to the lat­est round of reg­u­la­tory fil­ings. The stock has ticked higher re­gard­less, gain­ing 9.6 per­cent since Jan­uary 30, the day be­fore his sales be­gan. The trans­ac­tions are part of a pre-ar­ranged trad­ing plan. An Ama­zon spokesper­son de­clined to com­ment. That brings Be­zos’s to­tal stock sales to more than $13bn, with the ma­jor­ity oc­cur­ring in the past four years, ac­cord­ing to cal­cu­la­tions. Be­zos, 56, said in 2017 that he was sell­ing about $1bn a year in Ama­zon stock to fund Blue Ori­gin, his space flight com­pany. The rocket builder has since ex­panded op­er­a­tions and sig­nalled its first hu­man test flights this year. Be­zos also has been on a shop­ping spree for art. He was seen walk­ing through the pre­views at Sotheby’s in Novem­ber. He re­port­edly set a record for artist Ed Ruscha at a Christie’s auc­tion the same month with a $52.5 mil­lion pur­chase of “Hurt­ing the Word Ra­dio #2.” Be­zos also bought “Vi­gnette 19” by Kerry James Mar­shall for $18.5m at Sotheby’s, more than dou­bling its high es­ti­mate. I Bloomberg

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