China leads the way as world's billionaires get richer

Leading the way Alibaba chairman Jack Ma at a conference in Yunqi Cloud Town in Hangzhou China

Leading the way Alibaba chairman Jack Ma at a conference in Yunqi Cloud Town in Hangzhou China

"There are actually more billionaires in the Asia-Pacific region (APAC) today than there are in the United States, and they crossed us for the first time ever", said Mathews.

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 United States dollars 3.4 trillion to be handed down over the next 20 years.

Numerous country's 373 billionaires - nearly one in five of the global total - are self-made tycoons, often involved in the technology and retail sectors.

There were only 16 Chinese billionaires as recently as 2006.

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.

"Our report reveals how China is now the leading country for entrepreneurs to create wealth". Of those 332, 199 were self-made entrepreneurs, with 89 of them hailing from China, the report found. Sixty-one inherited their fortunes.

Asia as whole produced more than three billionaires a week.

"People have become very wealthy with this [impact of innovation]", John Mathews, head of ultra-high net worth Americas at UBS Global Wealth Management, said.

About 97% of China's billionaires are self-made, with the majority working in sectors such as tech or retail. "The continued progress of wealth creation is supported by government policies liberating the economy, while [urbanization] and business model disruption has crafted powerful new entrepreneurs", the report reads.

In the past year, 44 billionaires were created through their inherited wealth. 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.

U.S. and Asia ex-Japan equities could fall by 20% from their mid-summer 2018 levels.

There's never a bad time to be rich, but 2017 has been the best so far - if you're already a billionaire that is.

But Chinese billionaires expanded their wealth at almost double that pace, growing by 39 percent to $1.12 trillion.

While the USA holds the largest concentration of billionaire wealth, China is quickly catching up, and the APAC region could soon surpass the Americas.

Wealth transition from just five families accounted for 30 percent of the continent´s wealth expansion, the study said.

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

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