Global billionaire wealth falls for 1st time in 3 years

Joe Stadler head of UBS ultra-high net worth unit

"Billionaire wealth dipped in 2018 for the foremost time since 2008 attributable to geopolitics", UBS's head of extremely-excessive catch price purchasers, Josef Stadler, said in the document published on Friday.

USB and PwC said that factors behind this included "a strong USA dollar, trade friction, fears of lower economic growth, and financial market volatility". United States technology giants had driven the growth.

Companies controlled by billionaires tend to generate much better returns as compared to other large companies, says a global study, underlining the importance of the dominant shareholder for long-term performance.

Worldwide, the number of billionaires dropped everywhere except at the Americas, where technology entrepreneurs continued to buoy the positions of the United States' wealthiest.

Their wealth added US$1.1 billion to the overall holdings of Taiwan's 40 richest people, whose combined assets reached US$85.5 billion past year - up 1 percent from 2017.

Tech industry billionaires saw a 3.4% wealth increase in 2018, the only industry where billionaire wealth increased.

Billionaires are defined as people who have more than US$1 billion in financial and non-financial assets, including property or shares in their own companies, or firms in which they have a stake of at least 20 percent, the report said.

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The UBS banker acknowledged that wealth has become concentrated in fewer hands, but he said that concerns about inequality need to be balanced against what billionaires have achieved. Despite the decline in 2018, billionaires' assets are still Dollars 2.2 trillion or a suitable third higher than five years ago.

Even with last year's dip, billionaires' wealth increased nearly 35 per cent - or US$2.2 trillion - since 2013, according to the report.

At the same time, six Taiwanese were removed from the list, the report said.

But China's ultra-wealthy have been hammered by the nation's cooling economic growth, market fluctuations and weakening yuan; their net worth declined by 12.3 percent in 2018.

Sanders and Warren have made taxing billionaires prominent features of their presidential campaigns.

There are now 2,101 billionaires globally, according to UBS' 2019 Billionaire Insights report. Their wealth is still up 34.5 per cent since 2013, and 374 per cent since 2003. The calculator included personalized links for Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Bloomberg and Cooperman, all of whom have publicly anxious about how their fortunes would fare under her presidency. "You'll still be extraordinarily rich".

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