For the first time ever, billionaire growth in Asia Pacific outpaced that of the United States a year ago. This year, however, has seen stock markets decline worldwide over interest rate increases in the US and emerging market volatility, only to be exacerbated by tensions surrounding the US-China trade war. "Definitely, there will be an impact on billionaires". "It's hard to become a billionaire through sheer organic growth".
In the technology sector, there has been intense competition between Chinese and USA companies to the extent that Shenzhen is now challenging Silicon Valley, the report said.
What's more, 332 billionaires were minted in 2017, a rate of nearly a person-per-day joining the three-comma club.
During a year in which so much of the world faced deep poverty, the corrosive effects of austerity, and extreme weather caused by the worsening human-caused climate crisis-from devastating hurricanes to deadly wildfires and floods-one class of individuals raked in more money in 2017 than any other year in recorded history: the world's billionaires.
In 2017, India's billionaires grew from 19 to 119, while their wealth increased by 36 per cent to US$440 billion. He is also the only one who made his wealth in entertainment and media; most Singapore billionaires are in real estate and financial services. Almost two thirds of Singapore billionaires are self-made, slightly below the 68 per cent in the US.
In the Asia Pacific region, Thailand was the country which registered the strongest growth in the wealth and the number of billionaires, with a rise of 43 percent to 30, though only 57 percent were described as self-made.
The report said China minted two new billionaires a week in 2017, among more than three a week created in Asia.
About 97 percent of Chinese billionaires are self-made, and, at 56 years old on average, they're about a decade younger than their North American counterparts.
"In 2017, they equalled America´s level of venture capital funding for start-ups, registered four times as many Artificial-Intelligence-related patents and three times as many blockchain and crypto-related patents as their USA counterparts". The younger billionaires are expected to drive the growth in philanthropy and sustainable investing; 38 per cent of family offices are now engaged in sustainable investing; 45 per cent aim to step this up over the next 12 months.