Many of Asia's young fortunes are just above the billion-dollar mark, making them vulnerable to reversals of fortune, whether in the form of falling stock prices, political changes or personal difficulty, the report noted. The United States alone is home to 585 billionaires-the most in the world-up from 563 in 2017. Roughly half of China's new billionaires saw their wealth dip below 10 digits by the end of the year, the report showed. And Anbang's CEO has been sentenced to 18 years in prison, and forced to give up $1.65 billion, for embezzlement and insurance sales violations.
There were only 16 Chinese billionaires as recently as 2006.
A new report from investment bank UBS and professional services firm PwC has found the world's richest people upped their wealth by nearly a fifth in 2017, with British billionaires upping their income by a quarter.
The United States, however, retains the greatest amount of billionaire wealth as the wealthiest individuals live there. The growth rate in the whole of Apac was 32 percent. Their assets increased by 39 percent to $1.12 trillion. That compares to 631 in the US.
If the existing US/China trade-war escalates, UBS foresees lower economic growth in both countries before policy responses.
"As we work with our billionaire clients, numerous next generation seem highly motivated, committed to their chosen careers, the family business and/or doing social good", the report said.
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"Over little more than 10 years, they have created some of the world's largest companies, raised living standards and made fortunes at an unprecedented pace". "But this is just the beginning", said Josef Stadler, head of ultra-high net worth at UBS wealth management.
It said 97% of the Chinese billionaires were self-made, many of them in sectors such as technology and retail.
Asian billionaires are the youngest globally, with an average age of 61.43.
A total of 199 billionaires were created over the year globally, with almost a third gaining their wealth through some form of innovation, while the rest did so by scaling up businesses in the Asia-Pacific region, UBS and consultants PwC said.
"We need to consider how a maturing economic cycle could affect investors, including billionaires specifically", Mike Ryan, Americas chief investment officer with UBS Global Wealth Management said. "This cohort is overwhelmingly self-made and determined to capitalise on one of history's greatest moments for new enterprise".
However, UBS and PwC also highlight "the risks of doing business in China", as well as the opportunities.