Asia Creating a Billionaire Every Three Days

Antoinette Hoon PwC, Amy Lo, UBS Adrian Zuercher, UBS (from left to right)

Antoinette Hoon PwC, Amy Lo, UBS Adrian Zuercher, UBS (from left to right)

The number of billionaires in Asia increased last year, despite a global economic slowdown, according to the Billionaires Report 2016.

With around 85 percent of Asia's billionaires being first-generation, the report anticipates the implications of the forthcoming transfer of wealth to the Millennial generation.

The study focuses on more than 1,400 billionaires, looks back over two decades, and spans the 14 largest billionaire markets which account for around 80 percent of billionaire wealth globally.

Billionaire Status Lost

Asia is leading the way in wealth creation. In 2015, Asia created a new billionaire every three days. Of the 210 new billionaires created, 113 billionaires were Asian entrepreneurs.

However, Asia still faced economic challenges. Billionaire wealth across Asia fell by 6 percent from $1.6 trillion to $1.5 trillion. Far more billionaires lost their billionaire status in Asia than in Europe or the U.S..

China Drives Billionaire Growth 

Spurred by accelerated economic evolution, China accounted for 80 of Asia's new billionaire entrepreneurs, which had an average age of 53. Almost half came from the technology, consumer and retail, and real estate sectors.

Most of the world's billionaires generated their wealth in the last 20 years, and billionaire wealth has grown seven folds. However, one-third of the billionaires covered by the Report are over 70 years old. Collectively, they hold 40 percent of the total wealth of the group.

Transfer of Wealth

As such, the transfer of wealth to the Millennial generation will be the largest to date globally. For most of Asia's relatively young economies this will be the first handover of wealth. Around 460 of the billionaires in the markets covered are expected to pass $2.1 trillion to the next generation in the next 20 years – a figure equivalent to India's GDP in 2015.

«We are witnessing a departure from the status quo, with Asia leading the way in wealth creation. For Asia's billionaires, most of whom are first-generation, the transfer of wealth is important to create something that lasts for multi generations with continuity and family harmony,» said Amy Lo, Head of Greater China, UBS Wealth Management and Country Head, UBS Hong Kong.



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