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Alternative Market Briefing

The wealth of global billionaires fell in 2018 for the first time in three years

Monday, November 11, 2019

Laxman Pai, Opalesque Asia:

The global billionaires saw their collective wealth dip in 2018 for the first time in three years, erasing $388 billion of their net worth globally to $8.54 trillion, says UBS/PwC Billionaires Report 2019.

Asia's billionaires saw a correction following five years of significant growth, during which their wealth almost quadrupled.

By contrast, the Americas saw a slight wealth increase this year, led by prominent US tech billionaires. Despite slowing growth last year, billionaire wealth is over a third higher (34.5 percent) than five years earlier, amounting to an increase of USD 2.2 trillion.

Josef Stadler, Head of Ultra High Net Worth at UBS Global Wealth Management, commented on the new report: "The billionaire boom of the past five years has now undergone a natural correction. The stronger dollar, combined with greater uncertainty in equity markets amidst a tough geopolitical environment, has created the conditions for this dip."

Companies headed by billionaires are more profitable

Over the 15 years to the end of 2018, billionaire-controlled companies listed on the equity market returned 17.8 percent, compared with the 9.1 percent of the MSCI AC World Index.

"It's clear that billionaire businesses continue to thrive. Billionaires are creating and steering businesses that consistently outperform equity markets. This business acumen has also translated into their philanthropy, as billionaires seek new ways to engineer ......................

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