Friday, 16 November, 2018

World's billionaires saw ranks, wealth grow in 2017

Founder of Microsoft Bill Gates Founder of Microsoft Bill Gates
Orlando Vargas | 29 October, 2018, 15:34

The overwhelming majority - 97 percent - of Chinese billionaires are self-made, the report said, and the county produced 89 billionaire entrepreneurs past year - around three times higher than in the US and the Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.

UBS and PwC said there were already more billionaires in Asia than in the US.

China led the world in creating new billionaires last year, and the collective wealth of the elite group jumped 39% last year to $1.12 trillion, according to estimates in a new reportfrom Swiss investment bank UBS AG and accountants PwC.

"We are experiencing a new wave of entrepreneurship worldwide, with billionaires at the vanguard of innovation".

In 2006, there were just 16 Chinese billionaires.

"Today, only 30 years after the country´s government first allowed private enterprise, they number 373 - almost one in five of the global total". "Supported by rapid urbanization and productivity growth, they are leveraging technology to revolutionize the country's service sector, as well as growing business in area such as AI and healthcare".

Billionaires made more money in 2017 than in any year in recorded history. On present trends, they would be wealthier than their United States counterparts within three years.

Ravi Raju, head of Asia Pacific Ultra High Net Worth at UBS Global Wealth Management, said Asia's billionaires 'are young and relentless.

They have driven 80 percent of the 40 main breakthrough innovations over the last 40 years.

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

The study highlights China's challenge to the USA on technological innovation as a major driver of wealth creation.

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The fortunes of today's super-wealthy have risen at a far greater rate than at the turn of the 20th century, when families such as the Rothschilds, Rockefellers and Vanderbilts controlled vast wealth.

The one percent. The ultra-rich. More than two thirds, 69 percent or 24 individuals, could be considered self-made tycoons who had not inherited their wealth, according to the report.

According to the Billionaires Insight Report, "China's billionaire entrepreneurs are leading their country's economic transformation, and by extension that of the rest of Asia".

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

"Billionaires are embracing sustainable investing. Indeed, numerous younger generation want to change the world, making an impact through their family offices and philanthropic organizations".

'US and Asia ex-Japan equities could fall by 20 per cent from their mid-summer 2018 levels'.

"Opportunities in new emerging industries and technologies turn out to be very important, so much so that the downward shift in China's real GDP growth since the global financial crisis has not been a significant hindrance to billionaire creation", said Wyatt. The biggest growth sectors were consumer & retail, which rose by United States dollars 360 billion, technology (USD 250 billion) and materials (USD 180 billion).

The Americas region was still home to the highest concentration of billionaire wealth in 2017, although wealth creation in the region was reported to be slowing.

Oxfam once calculated that the world's 85 richest people, roughly the number of passengers that can fit on a double-decker bus, owned £1 trillion.

Currency appreciation saw European billionaires' wealth grow by 19% although the number of billionaires rose by just 4% to 414. Wealth transition from just five families accounted for 30 percent of the continent's wealth expansion.

According to UBS, this trend will continue to accelerate over the next 20 years, given that there are now 701 billionaires over the age of 70.

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