Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has become the first person to amass a fortune surpassing US$100 billion ($137b) in Forbes magazine's annual ranking of the world's moguls.

The milestone announced Tuesday underscores the growing clout of Bezos and the company he founded in 1994 as an online bookstore.

Forbes estimates Bezos' wealth at US$112b as of February 9, up from about US$73b last year, thanks to Amazon's surging stock price.

President Donald Trump didn't fare as well financially during his first year in office. Forbes says his fortune fell by about US$400 million to US$3.1b.

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The 71-year-old crashed from 544th richest on the Forbes billionaire list to 766th.

Trump's losses have been put down primarily to a drop in real estate as well as a court case and declining numbers of visitors at some of his golf resorts.

The magazine this year attributed his plunge to a fall in the value of luxury real estate around midtown Manhattan, where the core of his wealth is tied up in half-a-dozen buildings.

Trump Tower fell in value by an estimated A$52m ($55m) last year as the rise of e-commerce ate into the worth of properties in previously lucrative shopping areas.

And another of his vast properties at 6 East 57th Street is facing the gloomy prospect of long-term tenant Nike moving out in the next few months.

Amazon boss Bezos sailed past Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, who lost the top ranking for only the sixth time since 1995.

These days, Amazon sells almost everything imaginable online. It's now trying help people manage their lives with its digital assistant Alexa, which is implanted in its Echo line of internet-connected speakers.

- AP

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