Asia billionaires overtake United States for first time led by China

Dianna Christensen
October 27, 2017

Asian billionaires compared to 563 of the super-rich in the USA, though the total wealth of American billionaires is still higher at $2.8 trillion compared to $2.0 trillion in Asia, said a report published on Thursday by UBS and PwC that tracks 1,542 billionaires globally. Although the average wealth of USA billionaires is still greater, their Asian counterparts are expected to overtake them within 3-4 years. The total wealth of billionaires rose by 17 percent in 2016 to $6.0 trillion after falling in 2015, said the report. US billionaires, the report says, still controls the most wealth at $2.8 trillion as compared to $2 trillion is Asia. It marked the first time that Asia could be called home to more billionaires than the U.S.

But don't shed a tear for the richest folks in the U.S.: American billionaires still control the most wealth at US$2.8t ($4.1t), according to Washington Post. USA billionaires now hold around $2.8 trillion in wealth. Still, the USA maintained a higher concentration of billionaire wealth, but Asia top that measure in the next three to four years. In 2016, United States billionaire wealth reached $2.8 trillion, up 15% from the year before.

Three-quarters of those who newly became billionaires in 2016 were from China and India, the findings showed.

"This year we have seen not only a return to growth for billionaire wealth, but also a significant shift in its geographic dimensions".

"Our analysis shows that, if current growth trends continue, the total wealth of Asia's billionaires will overtake the U.S. in four years", the report said. China added a net new 67 billionaires a year ago compared with 25 net new billionaires in the U.S.

As expected in a country with such an entrepreneurial mind set, technology is the biggest driver of wealth creation.

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The world's 500 richest people have added US$824 billion ($1.2t) so far this year, an increase of 19 per cent, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

And unlike in the West, owners of conglomerates make up 23 per cent of China's rich club, according to the report.

Peer networks are playing an increasingly important role for billionaires when it comes to making and giving away money, the survey said.

Meanwhile in Europe, which had 342 billionaires, growth was largely static in 2016, with wealth growing a modest 5 per cent to just over $1.3 trillion.

In fact, the emergence of great wealth is bolstering art and sports more than ever before.

"What we are seeing is the acceleration of entrepreneurs in the billionaire cohort", said Josef Stadler, head of global ultra high net worth at UBS.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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