Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft and the world’s richest man, has donated £3.6bn to charity, according to documents filed in the US.
The donation, which is documented in an annual statement of changes in beneficial ownership filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, consists of 64 million Microsoft shares.
The shares are worth a combined £3.6bn, or $4.6bn, in the current stock market.
It is not yet known which charity will benefit from the donation, but media reports suggest the likely beneficiary will be the world’s richest charity, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The foundation was set up in 2000 with a donation from Gates of approximately $5bn.
The donation amounts to approximately 5 per cent of Gates’ wealth, and reduces his shares in Microsoft to 1.3 per cent, according to Bloomberg.
Gates has donated significant amounts of his wealth to charity over the past two decades, and in 2010 set up the Giving Pledge with the US billionaire Warren Buffet.
The Giving Pledge commits billionaire philanthropists to give away more than half their wealth to charitable causes, and more than 170 wealthy individuals, couples and families have so far signed the pledge.