Number of billionaires falls in Asia-Pacific

May 24, 2019
But region remains home to four of the top 15 billionaire population countries

Billionaires in Asia-Pacific suffered losses last year, seeing their overall wealth and total numbers falling at the greatest rate globally.

The region saw its number of billionaires fall by 13 percent and their wealth in total fall by 8 percent in 2018, according to New York and London-based high-net-worth data firm Wealth-X’s Billionaire Census.

That equates to a loss of 109 billionaires in the Asia-Pacific region and a $212 bn drop in their total combined wealth. Falls are led by the region’s four most populous countries for billionaires: China, Hong Kong, India and Singapore.

Weaker stock market performance, the ongoing US-China trade dispute and emerging market volatility on the back of a strong US dollar are all blamed for the losses.

Despite the losses, however, the Asia-Pacific region remains home to four of the top 15 countries based on their billionaire populations. China continues to boast the world’s second-largest billionaire pool after the US. With 285 billionaires enjoying a total combined wealth of $996 bn, the world’s second-largest economy ranks well above third-placed Germany and accounts for 12 percent of billionaires globally.

Hong Kong, the semi-autonomous region of China, ranks as the seventh-most populous country for billionaires. With 87 billionaires, it also ranks as the second-most populous billionaire city after New York, which boasts 105, creating many targeting opportunities for IROs

Meanwhile, Singapore retains 15th position among the mega-wealthy countries despite its billionaire population falling to 39 individuals. The city-state’s 11 percent decline in billionaires is the biggest percentage decline among all leading municipalities.

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