China, the world’s second biggest economy, accounts for a record one-fifth of all billionaires in the world, rising from 17.6 per cent in 2014, the China Rich List 2015, compiled by the US business magazine Forbes, said.
Each of the 370 Chinese billionaires have at least USD one billion in net assets and were led in the wealth stakes by 86-year-old Hong Kong magnate Li Ka-shing with an estimated USD 33.3 billion in assets, followed by fellow property tycoon Lee Shau-kee and Dalian Wanda chairman Wang Jianlin from mainland China.
In all, 213, or about 57 per cent of the billionaires came from the mainland, 9 per cent came from Hong Kong and 9 per cent from Taiwan.
Collectively, their wealth has grown by more than 20 per cent annually over the last three years, with mainland business people accounting for a growing share of the fortunes, the South China Morning Post reported.
This year’s top 10 richest included five people from the mainland China, up from one two years ago.
Four Hong Kong tycoons were among the 10 richest, down from five in 2013, it said.
“As the mainland’s economy grows, especially with the stock market recovering, more business leaders on the mainland will be added to the rich list,” Bank of Communications chief economist Lian Ping said.