Asia's economic expansion saw, on average, a new billionaire created in the region every other day. The new report of UBS and PwC is proving the above saying correct because in the year 2016 world's billionaires became even richer.
"Our analysis shows that, if current growth trends continue, the total wealth of Asia's billionaires will overtake the U.S. in four years", the report said. China had by far the highest number, adding a net 67 to total 318. The execution of Chinese President Xi Jinping's growth policies will also influence how fast total Asian billionaire wealth overtakes the US, he said.
Last year Asia's billionaire wealth swelled 31% on the year to $1.96 trillion, versus the U.S.'s 15% to $2.75 trillion, and the global average of 17% to $6 trillion. In Asia, the wealth of billionaires added up to to $2 trillion, up from $1.5 trillion in 2015.
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Some 43% of the wealthy individuals who had to be cut from the billionaire list worldwide past year were Chinese, Chang said. "Dramatic growth in Asian wealth shows it could overtake the United States in just four years".
A combination of geopolitical stability in Greater China, rising Chinese real estate prices, infrastructure spending, the growing middle class and buoyant commodity prices all boosted wealth, the UBS report said, citing interviews with Asia's richest people. "For numerous first generation of entrepreneurs, a major focus is bringing the business to the capital markets, raising funds and M&A", she said, adding that the Swiss bank sees Greater China as a "crucial" wealth management market.
On the other hand, Chang said, a Chinese billionaire's wealth can fluctuate as government policies can change quickly and the nation is awash with aggressive entrepreneurs. Their performance was twice better than the increase in the MSCI AC World Index.
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And unlike in the West, owners of conglomerates make up 23 per cent of China's rich club, according to the report.
While the main source of wealth for most billionaires is the founding of a successful business, which typically causes them to accumulate huge stock positions in these companies, many choose to hedge with large cash holdings, per financial research firm Wealth-X, as reported by The New York Times.
Peer networks are playing an increasingly important role for billionaires when it comes to making and giving away money, the survey said.
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"Indirectly, you could argue and say governments, regulators and central bankers may have contributed to the wealth creation", Josef Stadler, global head of ultra-high net worth at UBS, told CNBC on Thursday.
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