Published: Mon, October 29, 2018
Finance | By Kristine Clayton

China Is Minting Billionaires at a Furious Pace

China Is Minting Billionaires at a Furious Pace

More than 40 of the 179 new billionaires created last year inherited their wealth, and given the number of billionaires over 70 the report's authors expect a further Dollars 3.4 trillion to be handed down over the next 20 years.

Thanks to a strong currency development, Western Europe had strong wealth growth over the past year.

'But this is just the beginning.

The world's billionaires experienced the biggest wealth increase ever in 2017, with aggregate wealth among these 2,158 (and counting) individuals growing by $1.4 trillion to $8.9 trillion, a 19% leap, according to the 5th annual Billionaires Insight Report from UBS and PwC. 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 report said the Americas region was still home to the largest concentration of billionaire wealth, but wealth creation was slowing.

The top three industries where Chinese billionaires made their money are real estate, technology, and consumer and retail.

Globally there are 2,158 billionaires worth a combined 8.9 trillion US dollars.

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. Asia, as a whole, created three new billionaires per week. "The continued progress of wealth creation is supported by government policies liberating the economy, while urbanisation and business model disruption has crafted powerful new entrepreneurs".

There were only 16 Chinese billionaires as recently as 2006. "This cohort is overwhelmingly self-made and determined to capitalise on one of history's greatest moments for new enterprise". Mathews said major anticipated initial public offerings in 2019, including Uber, could reveal more stealth wealth, potentially adding more billionaires to the US's count.

U.S. entrepreneurs could play catch-up next year, though.

Of those who inherited a family business, 62 per cent globally went on to start entrepreneurial ventures, compared to 42 per cent of those who inherited assets. While there are 106 new Chinese billionaires this year, there are now 51 newly minted former Chinese billionaires. The younger billionaires are expected to drive the growth in philanthropy and sustainable investing; 38 per cent of family offices are now engaged in sustainable investing; 45 per cent aim to step this up over the next 12 months.

Billionaires are richer than before too, with their average net-worth sitting at $4 billion.

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