The report released Thursday by the investment firm UBS AG and consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) said 101 of the 162 Asians whose personal wealth passed the $1 billion threshold for the first time in 2016 were Chinese citizens.
In the U.S., nearly all wealth is now "self-made", said John Mathews, head of private wealth management and ultra high net worth at UBS Americas.
"In China, one billionaire is created every three weeks", Qiong Zhang, head of wealth management for UBS Securities in China, said in an interview. The U.S. added 25 billionaires for a total of 563.
Asia's 637 billionaires outnumbered those in the United States for the first time a year ago, according to a new report, with China adding the most new billionaires at 101, bringing its total to 318, while Asia overall added 162. 'Dramatic growth in Asian wealth shows it could overtake the USA in just four years'.
The research analysed 1,542 billionaires worldwide, covering around 80 per cent of global billionaire wealth, meaning the total number may be higher, the report said.
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Billionaire's wealth had also overtaken global economic growth of 5.8 percent in 2016. "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.
And unlike in the West, owners of conglomerates make up 23 per cent of China's rich club, according to the report.
"Although the number of new billionaires in China was far ahead of other countries in 2016, Chinese billionaire wealth fluctuated the most", Chang said.
That is, entrepreneurial billionaires beat the markets by being in industries that posted above-average gains in 2016. The large number of Chinese billionaires that dropped off the list previous year partly reflects their outsized exposure to stock market volatility as well as the impact from changes to policy and access to funding channels, said Mr Chang, according to a transcript.
In fact, the emergence of great wealth is bolstering art and sports more than ever before. Through their own passion for arts and sports, they are playing an increasingly important role in enriching the cultural life of communities'.
'Billionaires are also having a wider impact on the global economy through the people they employ and the growth they foster, ' says Stadler, quoting a figure that 90 per cent of the billionaires that bank with UBS are entrepreneurs who invest 98 per cent of wealth in their companies, fuelling job creation worldwide, and philanthropy.