Look China rich help drive billionaire wealth to $8.9T

Oscar PerryOct 29, 2018

While 106 Chinese became new billionaires past year, 51 were dropped from the list as their net worth fell below $1 billion.

The surge in the number of billionaires in the world's most populous country has made it an Eldorado for private banks.

There were two new billionaires in China every week, and three a week in Asia as a whole, the report said. And Anbang's CEO has been sentenced to 18 years in prison, and forced to give up $1.65 billion, for embezzlement and insurance sales violations.

The global wealth is shared among 2,158 individuals, according to the UBS/PwC Billionaires Report 2018.

According to the Swiss bank UBS's fifth annualbillionaires reportpublished on Friday, billionaires across the globe increased their wealth by $1.4 trillion past year - an astonishing 20 percent - bringing their combined wealth to an astonishing $8.9 trillion. The collective wealth of USA billionaires gained 12% climbing to $3.1 trillion.

The number of billionaires in Singapore has remained stable at 22, with just one new addition - Min-Liang Tan, co-founder of gaming hardware company Razer Inc. Their assets increased by 39 percent to $1.12 trillion.

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The worsening trade war with the United States has contributed to a slowing economy and the worst stock market rout in four years in China, and this could prove crucial as last year's rise was led by equity market growth and a strong global economy, according to UBS's Wyatt.

In China, 106 people became billionaires in 2017 (though others dropped off the list from 2016). But this is just the beginning. "Today, as the "Chinese Century" progresses, they number 373, almost one in five of the global total".

About 97% of Chinese billionaires are considered self-made, and, at 56 years old on average, they're about a decade younger than their North American counterparts.

"We need to consider how a maturing economic cycle could affect investors, including billionaires specifically", Mike Ryan, Americas chief investment officer with UBS Global Wealth Management said.

Of the global 199 self-made entrepreneurs who became billionaires for the first time previous year, 89 came from China, compared with 30 from the US. "This cohort is overwhelmingly self-made and determined to capitalize on one of history's greatest moments for new enterprise". According to UBS, 40 of the 179 new billionaires created a year ago inherited their wealth-a trend that has driven an explosion of wealth inequality over the past several decades. Far from being a Wild West with little or no controls, China's government is looking closely at how business is evolving and what the successful entrepreneurs are doing with their money.

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