More billionaires in Asia than US for first time, courtesy India

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Updated: October 26, 2017 4:33:07 PM

For the first time in history, there are more billionaires in Asia than in the US as the number of billionaires in Asia for the year 2016 stood at 637, while that of USA was 563.

UBS AG and PricewaterhouseCoopers said that world’s billionaires’ wealth rose 17% in 2016 (Image: Warner Bros)

For the first time in history there are more billionaires in Asia than in the US, and guess what? India added maximum billionaires to the list. The number of billionaires in Asia for the year 2016 stood at 637, while that of USA was 563.

Now the number of Chinese billionaires is pretty high, but India’s addition to the billionaires’ list from the previous year is more than China’s. China added 67 new billionaires in 2016 while India added 84 billionaires to the list released by UBS AG and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

UBS AG and PricewaterhouseCoopers said that world’s billionaires’ wealth rose 17% in 2016, with India and China playing a crucial role. Despite being outnumbered by these two Asian giants, the US continues to control the most wealth at $2.8 trillion. Though, not for too long! Asia’s economic expansion saw, on average, a new billionaire created in the region every other day. Should that pace continue, Asia would overtake the US as the world’s largest concentration of wealth in four years, the report said.

While art and philanthropy have always been rich people’s favourite area, the report has said, billionaires becoming sports patron is an emerging trend. India’s richest Mukesh Ambani, the oil and gas tycoon for the rest of the world, has got a special mention for owning the Indian Premier League franchise Mumbai Indians.

“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,” the report based on the analysis of roughly 1,550 billionaires said.

And moreover, the billionaires in Asia are young and self-made, driven by technology as a mechanism for wealth creation. “Technology tycoons are the youngest. They average 47 when attaining billionaire status,” the report said.

On the other hand, Europe’s figures stayed flat, with the region adding 342 billionaires from last year. This, UBS said, was in part due to death and because “entrepreneurial companies can find Europe a difficult place to do business due to both the conservative business culture and strict regulations”.

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