Asia Now Has More Billionaires Than the U.S.
he world’s wealthiest individuals are on a roll with billionaires in Asia leading the pack.
Billionaire wealth increased 17 percent to $6 trillion in 2016, after a decline the previous year, UBS Group AG and PricewaterhouseCoopers said in a report issued Thursday. Led by China, the number of the region’s billionaires surpassed the U.S. for the first time.
But don’t shed a tear for the richest folks in the U.S.: American billionaires still control the most wealth at $2.8 trillion.The gain in total billionaire wealth was twice the 8.5 percent increase of the MSCI AC World Index.
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 U.S. as the world’s largest concentration of wealth in four years, the Swiss bank and the auditing firm said in an analysis of data from roughly 1,550 billionaires.
How fast billionaire wealth grows in Asia will depend in part on how state-driven investment in China is replaced with other sources of capital, UBS Chief Investment Officer Mark Haefele said at a press conference in Zurich on Thursday.