Global Growth In Billionaires Led By China

Roman Schwartz
October 29, 2018

"In that year alone, 44 heirs inherited more than a billion dollars each (56% Americas, 28% EMEA, 16% APAC), totalling USD 189 billion (the discrepancy with USD 117 billion is assumed due to growth of assets in probate and revaluation of assets)", the report said.

'In 2017, they equalled America's level of venture capital funding for start-ups, registered four times as many Artificial-Intelligence-related patents and three times as many blockchain and crypto-related patents as their USA counterparts'.

While there were 53 new billionaires in the U.S.in 2017, China's ranks of the megawealthy grew at double that rate-or just over two a week. Asia, as a whole, created three new billionaires per week.

"Over the last decade, Chinese billionaires have created some of the world's largest and most successful companies, raised living standards".

There were only 16 Chinese billionaires as recently as 2016, the report said, but now almost one in five billionaires worldwide was Chinese. "Over the past five years (2012-2017), the sum passed by deceased billionaires to beneficiaries has grown by an average of 17 percent each year", the UBS report concludes.

The rapid expansion of wealth in China isn't without risk for those who want to have a share of the cake. "They are developing new business models, seizing opportunities, moving rapidly between business sectors".

"As we work with our billionaire clients, numerous next generation seem highly motivated, committed to their chosen careers, the family business and/or doing social good", the report said.

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Sixty percent of new billionaires are self-made innovators and business leaders. "This cohort is overwhelmingly self-made and determined to capitalize on one of history's greatest moments for new enterprise".

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".

And according to Castor Pang Wai-sun, head of research at Core Pacific-Yamaichi, more caution resulting from uncertainty surrounding the trade war and potentially less spending power could harm the growth of billionaires even further.

Equities in the United States and Asian countries excluding Japan may fall by more than 20 percent from their levels in mid-summer of 2018, the report warned.

In 2017, India's billionaires grew from 19 to 119, while their wealth increased by 36 per cent to US$440 billion.

The report said the Americas region was still home to the largest concentration of billionaire wealth, but wealth creation was slowing.

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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