According to a report by UBS AG and PWC, Asia now has the most billionaires in the world, surpassing the United States of America for the first time in financial-record history. A new billionaire was minted every alternate day in 2016, as per the annual report of UBS AG and PWC
In Asia, about 117 people broke the billion-dollar point in 2016, bringing the most populated continent in the world to a total of 637 billionaires. However, there is a twist, it seems like America’s 563 billionaires still control more assets as compared to their Asian-counterparts. American’s 563 billionaires control assets worth about $2.8 trillion. Europe on the other hand had only 3 new billionaires in 2016, bringing the total billionaires at 342 people. The report was formed with looking into details of 1,550 billionaires world-wide.
The combined wealth of the billionaires throughout the world also increased by 17% to a huge $6 trillion in last year. This is after seeing a dip in the 2015. Much of the growth seen has come from China and India, combined the two developing-superpowers have close to three quarters of the world’s new billionaires. Asia’s billionaire growth rate has been on a faster rise overall, with the continent projected to overtake America in terms of the overall wealth concentration and asset control in the next 3-4 years, the report stated.
The report stated, “A combination of geopolitical stability in Greater China, rising Chinese real estate prices, infrastructure spending, the growing middle class and buoyant commodity prices all joined together to boost wealth.”
China, according to the report is churning out a billionaire every 5 days. The major force of wealth being minted in Asia countries was technology, stated John Matthews, the report’s co-author. Asian countries are better at releasing, deploying, integrating new technology even if the technology has been invented in America.
"Asia is the land of implementation and integration" Matthews stated to Business Insider, a leading online publication. For example, America gave birth to finance apps like Venmo and PayPal, however it turns out Asian countries are using apps of those categories far more than people do in US.
"People don't use cash or credit cards in China, they use apps," Matthews said.
He also added that “billionaire wealth in Asia, is very volatile because it is so closely linked to the public markets.” As per their research, he categorically mentioned that “Asia can be a billionaire one day, but not the next. Only 40% of billionaires in the United States of America have their
wealth tied to public markets, compared to 70% in Asia.”
UBS Head of Global Ultra High Net Worth, Josef Stadler highlighted the impact of such growth in the region:
“Beyond this headline figure, billionaires are also having a wider impact on the global economy through the people they employ and the growth they foster. The societal effect of great wealth is, however, not exclusively economic. Through their own passion for arts and sports, they are playing an increasingly important role in enriching the cultural life of communities.”