China leads the way as world's billionaires get even richer

Founder of Microsoft Bill Gates

Founder of Microsoft Bill Gates

The number of billionaires in the country saw a net increase from 318 to 373, with a joint wealth of $1.12 trillion (£874bn), said the survey.

According to the report, the world's 2,158 billionaires grew their combined wealth by Dollars 1.4 trillion past year, more than the GDP of Spain or Australia, as booming stock markets helped the already very wealthy to achieve the "greatest absolute growth ever", the Guardian reported. "There are actually more billionaires in the Asia-Pacific region (APAC) today than there are in the USA, and they crossed us for the first time ever", said Mathews.

China's 36-richest people have lost 19 percent of their wealth, or $83.8 billion, so far this year, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, more than any other country represented on the ranking of the world's 500 biggest individual fortunes.

The annual Billionaires Insights report lists people whose wealth has reached US$1 billion (NT$31 billion).

In 2006, there were just 16 Chinese billionaires. "Today, as the "Chinese Century" progresses, they number 373, almost one in five of the global total". China, home to 1.4 billion people, added 55 new billionaires previous year and their aggregate wealth grew 39% to $1.12 trillion.

In the past, "the majority of breakthrough innovations have been driven by companies based in the Americas", John Mathews, UBS' head of ultrahigh net worth for the Americas, said in a statement.

"They are the same when it comes to creating value, but different when it comes to distributing the value", Stadler told CNBC's "Squawk Box Europe" on Friday.

"Billionaires are embracing sustainable investing".

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"Really, the story revolves around China, where we're seeing unbelievable and unprecedented wealth", Mathews said.

"The past 30 years have seen far greater wealth creation than the Gilded Age" the UBS Billionaires 2018 report said. "Indeed, numerous younger generation want to change the world, making an impact through their family offices and philanthropic organizations".

The study also warned of lower economic growth in the United States and China if the trade war between the two countries escalates.

'US and Asia ex-Japan equities could fall by 20 per cent from their mid-summer 2018 levels'.

In 2017, India's billionaires grew from 19 to 119, while their wealth increased by 36 per cent to US$440 billion.

In the Americas region, the wealth of billionaires increased at a slower rate of 12%, to $3.6 trillion, with the United States creating 53 new billionaires in 2017 compared to 87 five years ago.

If current trends hold, Asian billionaires' wealth will surpass that of their American counterparts in three years.

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