For the first time, Asia has more billionaires than the United States, says a report published by financial services companies UBS and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
There are 637 Asian billionaires compared to 563 in the US. However, billionaires in the US are much richer, with a combined wealth of $2.8 trillion, compared to the $2 trillion of the Asian billionaires.
Asia eclipsed the US as China had 101 more billionaires last year, bringing its total to 318, the authors of the report said. This comes at a time when the growth of the Chinese economy is set to accelerate for the first time in seven years. But fears remain that most of China’s growth may be fuelled by debt.
The report, Reuters said, highlighted that the number of Chinese billionaires rose 50%, days after Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke of the need for more equal development as the country deals with its large wealth gap.
The total wealth of billionaires rose by 17% in 2016 to $6 trillion after falling in 2015.