China leads the way as worlds billionaires get even richer

China leads the way as worlds billionaires get even richer

Many of Asia's young fortunes are just above the billion-dollar mark, making them vulnerable to reversals of fortune, whether in the form of falling stock prices, political changes or personal difficulty, the report noted. 585 of these billionaires are in the United States, which houses the most of any one country in the world.

UBS, whose wealth management arm manages around US$2.5 trillion in assets, and PwC said there were already more billionaires in Asia than in the United States and they were on course to be wealthier than their U.S. peers within three years.

"[Last year's] increase in billionaire wealth of 19 per cent was substantially higher than the average of 9 per cent in the previous five years", said Wyatt. "We're combining the digital world with the material world with the biogenetics world and everything's starting to come together", said John Mathews, Head of Ultra High Net Worth Americas at UBS Global Wealth Management.

A new report from investment bank UBS and professional services firm PwC has found the world's richest people upped their wealth by nearly a fifth in 2017, with British billionaires upping their income by a quarter. "There are 701 billionaires over the age of 70, whose wealth will transition to heirs and philanthropy over the next 20 years, given the statistical probability of average life expectancy".

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.

It warned of lower economic growth in the United States and China if the trade war between the two countries escalates.

China's ultra rich are mostly "self-made" entrepreneurs, with some 97% building their own fortunes rather than gaining it through inheritance, compared with 69% in the US, the report said. Their assets increased by 39 percent to $1.12 trillion.

'But this is just the beginning.

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

It said 97% of the Chinese billionaires were self-made, many of them in sectors such as technology and retail. "This cohort is overwhelmingly self-made and determined to capitalize on one of history's greatest moments for new enterprise". And although the net worth of Asian billionaires led by China was US$2.7 trillion, behind North America's US$3.09 trillion, they are expected to overtake the Americans in three years, according to the report. Asia, as a whole, created three new billionaires per week.

"UBS head of ultra-high-net -worth Ravi Raju said: "(Asia's) remarkable wealth creation presents an huge opportunity for UBS, which now has a relationship with three out of five billionaires in Asia". 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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