China leads the way as world's billionaires get richer

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Asia has 711 billionaires, compared to 631 in North America. "This new gilded age is creating all kinds of new innovations and technologies that will not only will change how we live our lives, it will create great wealth, and not just for the people who innovate themselves, but all the other businesses that start up around it".

UBS and PwC forecast that Asia will overtake the U.S. as a hotspot for global billionaires within three years.

The surge in the number of billionaires in the world's most populous country has made it an Eldorado for private banks. Their assets increased by 39 percent to $1.12 trillion.

This incident, along with the recent show trials and tribulations of Chinese executives, shows that while the country has ramped up its production of new billionaires, the megarich and the bankers who chase them face a far more complex and uncertain future than their Western counterparts. They are creating jobs and prosperity, but their impact goes beyond economics.

China produced 50 so-called "unicorns" - companies with a valuation of at least US$1 billion - from 2016 to 2018, slightly behind the 62 produced in the United States, the report said.

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.

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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.

In the technology sector, there has been intense competition between Chinese and USA companies to the extent that Shenzhen is now challenging Silicon Valley, the report said.

Rapid urbanisation and productivity growth would help the young entrepreneurs at the forefront of China's wealth creation continue to reach the ranks of the billionaires in the coming years, it said.

In the Americas region, the wealth of billionaires increased at a slower rate of 12 per cent, to $3.6 trillion, with the United States creating 53 new billionaires in 2017 compared to 87 five years ago. "This cohort is overwhelmingly self-made and determined to capitalise on one of history's greatest moments for new enterprise". Almost two thirds (62 percent) of billionaires' sons and daughters who inherited the family business in 2017 sought to become entrepreneurs, compared with 42 percent who inherited assets.

"Billionaires are embracing sustainable investing".

"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". The U.S. added 53 billionaires past year, a 4% increase, bringing the total to 585.

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