Published: Mon, October 29, 2018
Markets | By Jeffery Armstrong

China leads the way as billionaires wealth sees record increase in 2017

China leads the way as billionaires wealth sees record increase in 2017

89 Chinese entrepreneurs became billionaires in 2017, roughly three times more than in the U.S. and EMEA. 585 of these billionaires are in the United States, which houses the most of any one country in the world.

UBS and PwC forecast that Asia will overtake the U.S. as a hotspot for global billionaires within three years.

Ravi Raju, Head of Asia Pacific Ultra High Net Worth at UBS Global Wealth Management commented: "Asia's billionaires are young and relentless".

The combined wealth of China's billionaires surged 39 percent to $1.12 trillion past year, as the nation's buoyant markets generated two billionaires a week on average, according to Friday's Billionaires Report from UBS and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

The rise in collective wealth was powered by growth in China. The growth rate in the whole of Apac was 32 percent. "The reality of it is the impact and the way we live our lives with the wealth being created, not just with the billionaires themselves, but with everyone associated with it, has just accelerated at a pace I'm not sure we were even ready for". Asia has 711 billionaires, compared to 631 in North America. Their assets increased by 39 percent to $1.12 trillion.

More news: World's oldest intact shipwreck found at bottom of Black Sea

If the existing US/China trade-war escalates, UBS foresees lower economic growth in both countries before policy responses.

More than 300 Chinese companies went public a year ago, unlocking what UBS deems "stealth wealth", the difficult-to-measure wealth of people in private markets with little transparency. But this is just the beginning.

In China, 106 people became billionaires in 2017 (though others dropped off the list from 2016).

'Today, only 30 years after the country's government first allowed private enterprise, they number 373 - almost one in five of the global total'.

Breaking it down by source for the newest entrants, 40% are from the consumer and retail sector, followed by 17% from financial services and 11% in the technology sector.

More news: Suspect behind wave of parcel bombs arrested in Florida

2,158 billionaires (including 199 new self-made billionaires) grew their combined wealth to more than the GDP of Australia or Spain, and researchers also found a growing trend towards "business families" preserving and growing inherited wealth. "This cohort is overwhelmingly self-made and determined to capitalize on one of history's greatest moments for new enterprise".

While the USA holds the largest concentration of billionaire wealth, China is quickly catching up, and the APAC region could soon surpass the Americas.

Asian billionaires are the youngest globally, with an average age of 61.43.

However, UBS and PwC also highlight "the risks of doing business in China", as well as the opportunities.

More news: Saudi Crown Prince says journalist's killing was a 'heinous crime'

Like this: