Billionaires Report 2019: APAC has the highest number of billionaires worldwide

Billionaire-controlled companies have returned almost twice the average market performance over the past 15 years, new research published today reveals.

This is one of the findings of the annual UBS and PwC Billionaires Insights report, The Billionaire Effect. The report also reveals that, over the five years to the end of 2018, billionaire wealth grew by more than a third (34.5%), reaching a total of USD 8.5 trillion, USD 2.2 trillion higher than five years earlier. In the same period, 589 individuals became billionaires increasing the population by 38.9% to 2,101.

APAC has 754 billionaires with a combined wealth of USD 2.5 trillion

Looking at Asia, wealth of the billionaires in the region has quadrapled in over five years. APAC continues to have the highest number of billionaires worldwide, with 754 billionaires. They represent 36% of global billionaire population with a combined wealth of USD 2.5 trillion. From 2003 to 2018, APAC publicly listed billionaire- controlled companies had the second greatest annualised average return at 18.3% in the world.

China’s entrepreneurs have become the world’s second largest billionaire group over the past five years, overtaking Russia. Their net worth has tripled, reaching USD 982.4 billion in 2018. China has 325 billionaires (43% of APAC billionaires). But in 2018, Chinese billionaires’ net worth decreased by 12.3%.

Ravi Raju, Head of UHNW APAC, UBS Global Wealth Management commented: “In Asia, most of our clients are first generation entrepreneurs and we have been collaborating with them for over 50 years. Entrepreneurs account for 70% of our client base in Asia Pacific and they are key drivers of wealth creation here. In particular, Asia billionaires-controlled companies were more profitable than the market over the past 10 years.

China’s entrepreneurs have become the world’s second largest billionaire group over the past five years, overtaking Russia. Their net worth has tripled, reaching USD 982.4 billion in 2018

Focus on succession planning and sustainable investments

With a significant wealth transfer of USD 3.4 trillion in the next 20 years globally, it is heartening to note that many of our Asian business families have increasingly been focused on succession planning and sustainable investments. At UBS, we provide a holistic approach to engaging our billionaire clients on their business, investment and family legacy needs,“ he concludes.

Julia Leong, Partner, Private banking leader with PwC Singapore commented: “Economies across the Asia Pacific continue to mature at an accelerated pace and the number of Billionaires have grown in tandem. While Asia continues to be seen as having more traditionally male-dominated cultures, it is heartening to see that the number of female billionaire has grown to more than double over the last five years. We have observed that female billionaires are highly driven, at times more than men, and this is likely one of the key contributing factors to this rise.

UBS Billionaire Report 2019 - The Digital Banker
UBS Billionaire Report 2019

Key findings:

  • Over the last 15 years to the end of 2018, billionaire-controlled publicly listed companies returned almost twice the average market performance. Their annualized performance was 17.8% versus the 9.1% of the MSCI AC World Index.
  • Over the five years to the end of 2018, billionaire wealth grew by more than a third (34.5%), reaching a total of USD 8.5 trillion.
  • APAC has the highest number of billionaires worldwide, with 754 billionaires. They represent 36% of global billionaire population with a combined wealth of USD 2.5 trillion.
  • Over the past five years, China’s entrepreneurs have become the world’s second largest billionaire group. Their net worth has tripled, reaching USD 982.4 billion in 2018. China has 325 billionaires (43% of APAC billionaires).
  • The number of female billionaires has grown by 46% in five years. Their assets had expanded by over a quarter (26%) to USD 871.2 billion, lifted mainly by progress in Asia.

To download the 2019 UBS/PwC Billionaires report and previous versions, please visit: http://www.ubs.com/global/en/wealth-management/uhnw/billionaires-report.html or http://www.pwc.ch/billionaires-insights

>> Read other exclusive features about the digital banking landscape, download the latest issue of The Digital Banker Magazine HERE.

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