China minted 90 new billionaires last year, giving it  for the first time more billionaires than the US, 568 to 535, the Hurun Report announced on Wednesday. India continued to hold third place on the list.

With 32 new billionaires, Beijing, topped 100, replacing New York — with only 95 — as the billionaire capital of the world, said Hurun Report.

Now in its fifth year, the Hurun Global Rich List is a ranking of the US dollar billionaires currently found in the world. Produced by Hurun Report, the Global Rich List 2016 ranked 2188 billionaires from 68 countries, 99 more than last year, in another record-breaking year for the world’s billionaires. The wealth calculations are as of Jan. 15, 2016.

Since 2013, China has seen its number of billionaires grow by 80%. India added 14 billionaires last year to total 111, locking it into third place. In addition to Beijing, four other Chinese cities made the top 10 list of most billionaires: Hong Kong, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hangzhou.

Wang Jianlin China's richest man
Wang Jianlin, China’s richest man

The combined net worth of the Chinese billionaires is $1.4 trillion, similar to the GDP of Australia. Real estate generated the most billionaires (117), followed by Manufacturing and Tech with 94 and 68, respectively. Average age of the billionaires is 56. China is the No. 1 in the world in terms of generating self-made billionaires akin to “rags to riches.” Wang Jianlin, 61, of Wanda was the richest Chinese with $26 billion just ahead of Li Ka-shing, 87.  Jack Ma, 51, of Alibaba was fourth with $21 billion.

Combined wealth of the Indian billionaires shot up by 16% to $308 billion. Average age is 64. Mumbai is headquarters to most of the Indian billionaires. Mukesh Ambani ($26 billion, rank 21) is the richest Indian.

“Despite its own slowdown and falling stock markets, China minted more new billionaires than any other country in the world last year, mainly on the back of new listings,” said Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief researcher of Hurun Report in a written statement. “Growth in billionaires for the rest of the world was held back by a slowdown in the global economy, the strengthening of the US dollar and the drop in oil prices. The number of billionaires, however, has jumped 50% since 2013.”

Japan took 10th place with 42 billionaires, 3 less than 2015. Combined wealth of the Japanese billionaires cumulates to $111 billion. The preferred sector is TMT with 14 billionaires followed by retail with 9. Tokyo is the preferred city.

Even though 102 people fell off of the list from last year, total wealth increased by 9% to $7.3 trillion, more than the gross domestic product of Germany and the United Kingdom combined and nearly half that of the US. The average age is 64 and about 69% are self-made.

Bill Gates, the former chief of Microsoft, retains the No. 1 spot with a fortune of $80 billion. Investor Warren Buffett saw his wealth decrease by $8 billion to $68 billion. Of the decline 11%, or $2.2 billion was a donation to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Amancio Ortega, the Spanish businessman and founder of the Inditex fashion group, best known for its chain of Zara retail shops, regained the 3rd spot this year.

And CEO Jeff Bezos shot into the Top 10 for the first time with a $24 billion, or 83% increase, to grab the fourth spot with $53 billion.

Overall 729 individuals saw their wealth decrease and 102 dropped off of last year’s list. Russian billionaires lost $130 billion, on the back of a further 19% drop in the Russian ruble and with lackluster performance of mining, metals and energy.

Leave a comment