Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

China leads the way as worlds billionaires get even richer

Founder of Microsoft Bill Gates Founder of Microsoft Bill Gates
Kenneth Drake | 29 October, 2018, 15:31

China's young entrepreneurs are "set to swell the ranks of the world's billionaires for years to come", the report said.

It warned of lower economic growth in the United States and China if the trade war between the two countries escalates. In 2017, the USA created 53 new billionaires, compared with 87 five years ago. 179 new billionaires were created a year ago.

There were only 16 Chinese billionaires as recently as 2016, the report said, but now almost one in five billionaires worldwide was Chinese. Today, three decades after the government first allowed the emergence of private enterprise, there are 373 billionaires, one in five from a global perspective.

"Over the last decade, Chinese billionaires have created some of the world's largest and most successful companies, raising living standards", said Josef Stadler, head of ultra-high net worth at UBS Global Management.

The country made two billionaires every week during that period, with 199 billionaires created across the world in total, according to the 2018 UBS and PwC Billionaires Insights Report.

China's 400 wealthiest people have already lost a combined US$130 billion from their fortunes in the past year, according to Forbes' 2018 China Rich List, published on Thursday. "They are constantly transforming their companies, developing new business models and shifting rapidly into new sectors", said Ravi Raju, head of Asia Pacific ultra-high net worth at UBS wealth management.

Of all Chinese billionaires, 97 percent are self-made.


"Really, the story revolves around China, where we're seeing unbelievable and unprecedented wealth", Mathews said.

"Some 45 people (34 of them from China) dropped below the billionaire wealth band", said the report.

Technology is the driving force behind what many of these billionaire entrepreneurs do.

According to the report, there were just 16 billionaires in China 12 years ago - that number has since grown more than 2,200 percent to 373, with the country now accounting for nearly 20 percent of the world's billionaires.

One Chinese billionaire told the researchers: "Nowhere else in the world can you find better conditions for growth than in China".

The report said the Americas region was still home to the largest concentration of billionaire wealth, but wealth creation was slowing. While women still represent a small portion of the total number of billionaires overall - 11 percent - their rise could indicate a steady shift in wealth creation.

APAC's share of billionaire wealth rose to United States dollars 2.7 trillion, 30 percent of the global total, with the consumer & retail, technology and real estate sectors leading the way.

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