Look China rich help drive global billionaire wealth to $12.3 trillion

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The total wealth of global billionaires grew to $8.9 trillion in 2017, an increase of more than 19 percent from the previous year, according to a study released Friday by UBS and PwC.

China may create lots of billionaires-but it isn't always clear who the money really belongs to or who gets to keep it in the long run.

China's 400 wealthiest people have already lost a combined US$130 billion from their fortunes in the past year, according to Forbes' 2018 China Rich List, published on Thursday. But she still makes plenty from the show, which is now in its final season.

"We're combining the digital world with the material world with the biogenetics world and everything's starting to come together", said John Mathews, Head of Ultra High Net Worth Americas at UBS Global Wealth Management.

More than 300 Chinese companies went public a year ago, unlocking what UBS deems "stealth wealth", the difficult-to-measure wealth of people in private markets with little transparency.

China's ultra rich are mostly "self-made" entrepreneurs, with some 97% building their own fortunes rather than gaining it through inheritance, compared with 69% in the USA, the report said.

Rapid urbanisation and productivity growth would help the young entrepreneurs at the forefront of China's wealth creation continue to reach the ranks of the billionaires in the coming years, it said.

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But Chinese billionaires expanded their wealth at almost double that pace, growing by 39 percent to $1.12 trillion.

China's 36-richest people have lost 19 percent of their wealth, or $83.8 billion, so far this year, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, more than any other country represented on the ranking of the world's 500 biggest individual fortunes.

Younger billionaires are the driving force behind a growth in philanthropy and sustainable investing, as they use their wealth to create positive social impact. Further, billionaires are embracing sustainable investing, seeing how it not only does good, but also adds value in their businesses. "Indeed, numerous younger generation want to change the world, making an impact through their family offices and philanthropic organisations", he said.

'US and Asia ex-Japan equities could fall by 20 per cent from their mid-summer 2018 levels'.

"Nowhere else in the world can you find better conditions for growth than in China".

The report said the Americas region was still home to the largest concentration of billionaire wealth, but wealth creation was slowing. This was largely due to currency appreciation in the euro versus the dollar. Wealth transition from just five families accounted for 30 percent of the continent's wealth expansion.

UBS also notes that the world now has a total of 2,158 billionaires.

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