Global billionaire wealth increased by 19% in 2017, say UBS and PwC

The combined wealth of the Taiwanese billionaires rose by 12 percent to reach a total of US$84.4 billion (NT$2.6 trillion) in the year up to the drawing up of the report.

China's 36-richest people have lost 19 percent of their wealth, or $83.8 billion, so far this year, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, more than any other country represented on the ranking of the world's 500 biggest individual fortunes.

"China is where we're seeing unbelievable and unprecedented growth", said John Mathews, the head of ultra-high-net-worth Americas for UBS Global Wealth Management. "But this is just the beginning", said Josef Stadler, head of ultra-high net worth at UBS wealth management. Billionaires are responsible for 80% of the 40 most significant innovations over the last 40 years and last year, billionaires alone employed a larger workforce than the whole of the UK. The number of Chinese billionaires jumpe from 16 in 2006 to 373 in 2016.

"Today, only 30 years after the country´s government first allowed private enterprise, they number 373 - almost one in five of the global total".

"UBS head of ultra-high-net -worth Ravi Raju said: "(Asia's) remarkable wealth creation presents an vast opportunity for UBS, which now has a relationship with three out of five billionaires in Asia". "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". "They are developing new business models, seizing opportunities, moving rapidly between business sectors". We have also found that Next Gen billionaires are extremely entrepreneurial.

"We are experiencing a new wave of entrepreneurship worldwide, with billionaires at the vanguard of innovation". "Women tend to foster family values and want to invest more into the sustainability area, whereas males are more value creators and leave it then to their females or to their officers and family officers or foundation officers to basically give back to society". "Indeed, numerous younger generation want to change the world, making an impact through their family offices and philanthropic organisations", he said.

If the existing US/China trade-war escalates, UBS foresees lower economic growth in both countries before policy responses.

"US and Asia ex-Japan equities could fall by 20 percent from their mid-summer 2018 levels".

"It's hard to become a billionaire through sheer organic growth".

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.

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

These mega-rich increased their wealth by a $1.4 trillion which is more than the entire GDP of Spain or Australia.

UBS estimates that the world now has a total of 2,158 billionaires, with 179 billionaires created a year ago.


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