Beijing, 26 October 2018 – Billionaires’ wealth enjoyed its greatest-ever increase in 2017, rising 19 percent to USD 8.9 trillion shared among 2,158 individuals. Despite healthy growth in the Americas and Europe, Chinese billionaires led the way, growing their wealth by 39 percent to USD 1.12 trillion.
Today, Asia Pacific is home to 814 billionaires representing 38% of the global billionaire population. In Asia Pacific, 177 billionaires were minted during the year, largely driven by China.
Here in this region, over three new billionaires were created in a week, with China leading the way minting over two new billionaires in a week. This means that more than half of new billionaires worldwide is contributed by Asia. Driven largely by China, APAC billionaires’ net worth grew by almost a third (32%) to USD 2.7 trillion in 2017. At this rate, APAC billionaires are expected to be wealthier than their American peers in less than three years. Many of the APAC billionaires made their wealth in the consumer & retail, technology and real estate sectors.
These findings were published today in UBS and PwC’s joint, annual Billionaires Insights report, New Visionaries and the Chinese Century. Now in its fifth edition, the report draws on UBS and PwC’s extensive client network and access to data, and aims to promote a deeper understanding of the billionaire population globally.
Josef Stadler, Head of Ultra High Net Worth at UBS Global Wealth Management, comments on the new report: “Over the last decade, Chinese billionaires have created some of the world’s largest and most successful companies, raised living standards. But this is just the beginning. China’s vast population, technology innovation and productivity growth combined with government support, are providing unprecedented opportunities for individuals not only to build businesses but also to change people’s lives for the better.”
“We are experiencing a new wave of entrepreneurship worldwide, with billionaires at the vanguard of innovating. They are creating jobs and prosperity, but their impact goes beyond economics. A new generation is emerging, and they see an opportunity to tackle some of the greatest environmental and societal challenges facing humankind.”
Qiong ZHANG, President and Head of Wealth Management, UBS (China) Limited, commented, "China continues to mint 2 billionaires every week, powered by continued economic growth. This kind of remarkable wealth creation presents an immense opportunity for UBS, which currently already has a relationship with three out of five billionaires in Asia. As we continue to build our capabilities in serving billionaire clients, we apply a holistic approach that not only serves their business and investment needs, but succession, philanthropy and family legacy needs."
James CHANG, Financial Services Consulting Leader, PwC China, commented: “China’s innovation activities are transforming from business model innovation to fundamental technology innovation. Looking ahead, China’s young entrepreneurs are set to swell the ranks of the world’s billionaires for years to come. Supported by rapid urbanisation and productivity growth, they are leveraging emerging technologies to revolutionise the country’s services sector, as well as enabling and growing businesses in areas such as financial services, retail and healthcare. The pace of growth will fluctuate, depending on the economic cycle, financial liquidity and whether the US/China trade war escalates.”
Key APAC findings:
Continuing a major trend highlighted last year, the rise of Asian billionaires carries on unabated:
Key global findings:
Globally, billionaires continue to have a transformative effect on the world:
The report also examines how billionaires and their families are changing:
Billionaire wealth in numbers:
To download the report and previous reports, please visit: www.ubs.com/billionaires
1 Sources: Wharton School of Economics, ”A World Transformed: What Are the Top 30 Innovations of the Last 30 Years“ (2009); Massachusetts Ins
Senior Manager, PwC China
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, PwC China
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