World's billionaires have more money than GDP of the whole European Union!

Jack Ma

Jack Ma

Putting that $6 trillion of global billionaire wealth in perspective, it almost equals the combined GDP of Germany and the United Kingdom in 2016, per the World Bank Group. The new billionaires created in 2016 employ at least 2.8 million people. Additionally, the report found that four sectors in particular drove much of the increase in the global billionaires' wealth: materials, up 31%; technology, up 23%; financial services, up 16%; and industrials, up 28%.

At the end of a year ago, there were 1,542 billionaires around the world sitting on a $6 trillion trove of wealth, according to a new report by UBS and PwC.

"According to the Asian billionaires we interviewed for this report, a combination of geopolitical stability in Greater China, rising Chinese real estate prices, infrastructure spending, the growing middle class and buoyant commodity prices all joined together to boost wealth", the report said.

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The surge in wealth by the world's billionaires far surpassed broader economic growth or stock markets. "Dramatic growth in Asian wealth shows it could overtake the U.S. in just four years".

Three quarters of those who newly became billionaires in 2016 were from China and India, the findings showed.

However, American billionaires still have the most billions.

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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. "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. For another, the MSCI All-Country World Index advanced 8.5% in 2016 and tacked on 17.8% for 2017 through September 29, per MSCI Inc. 'Today's billionaires also feel a responsibility to drive social and economic impact - whether that means creating a private museum to promote the arts or buying a professional sports team to promote a passion'.

Peer networks are playing an increasingly important role for billionaires when it comes to making and giving away money, the survey said.

The study credits the resurgence in global wealth past year to the recovery in commodity prices as well as the burgeoning technology sector. The good news, for them, is that this was up from $5.1 trillion the year before.

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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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