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Fake Moon Over Chengdu Shows Why China Is Billionaire Powerhouse

Fake Moon Over Chengdu Shows Why China Is Billionaire Powerhouse

In the wider Asian continent the number of billionaires also surpassed those in the United States, with their collective wealth also set to be more in the next three years, according to the data.

The report forecast that, driven by China, billionaires in Asia-Pacific will be wealthier than their American counterparts within three years.

Over the past five years, the sum passed by deceased billionaires to beneficiaries has grown by an average of 17 per cent each year, to reach Dollars 117 bn in 2017. The number of female billionaires grew to 2,158 in 2017, up 9 percent from 1,979 in the previous year.

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

The new report, released by Swiss bank UBS, that details this massive growth also stated that the rate at which the super-wealthy's fortunes are rising is far greater than the turn of the 20th century, during the time of families such as the Rothschilds, Rockefellers, and Vanderbilts.

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

The Chinese cohort is 97 percent self-made, many of them in sectors such as technology and retail. In 2017, they equalled the US' level of venture capital funding for start-ups, and registered four times as many artificial intelligence-related patents, and three times as many blockchain- and crypto-related patents as their U.S. counterparts.

"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 major wealth transition has begun". 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.

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

Worldwide, total billionaire wealth rose 19% to a record $8.9tn, shared among 2,158 individuals.

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

To put the growth in context, China had only 16 billionaires in 2006.

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

Other billionaires in Asia did well too.

The report, which UBS produces annually with the audit and consulting firm PwC, is meant to be a marketing tool for the firm's wealth management business.

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