Rupert Hoogewerf
Rupert Hoogewerf

Economic uncertainly and slower growth has not slowed down the growth of wealth, told China Rich list Hurun founder Rupert Hoogewerf on Friday in the Asian Financial Review. “Wealth is back.”

The Asian Financial Review:

The total wealth of the world’s billionaires is $US5.5 trillion, equal to China’s gross domestic product.

Hurun chairman and chief researcher Rupert Hoogewerf said he was surprised that the fortunes of the world’s wealthiest people continued to grow during a period of economic uncertainty and slower growth.

“Wealth is back,” he said on Friday. “The fortunes of the top 10 on average grew by more than 20 per cent. Those of the top 100 grew by 15 per cent.”

Another 25 people joined the Ten-Zero Club – those with more than $US10 billion, taking the total to 108.

Mr Hoogewerf said the real number of billionaires was probably higher. “For every billionaire that Hurun Report has found, I estimate we have missed at least two, meaning that today there are probably 4000 [US] dollar billionaires in the world,” he said.

To make it into the top 10 of the HurunReport list takes time, with the average age being 74, which is 11 years older than that for the whole list. Mr Slim is 73, Mr Buffett 82 and China’s Mr Li 85. At 57, Mr Gates is the youngest of these top few.

Real estate made the most billionaires, with 219 sourcing their wealth from property, or 16 per cent of the list. Seven of the top 10 real estate tycoons live in China. The next best earning categories were telecommunications and investments.

The HurunReport is a snapshot of wealth on January 17 this year. For non-listed companies, the valuation is based on a comparison with listed equivalents using prevailing industry price to earnings ratios. The list is published by a Shanghai-based luxury publishing group.

More in the Asian Financial Review.

Rupert Hoogewerf is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers’ request form.

Why are Chinese – and especially the rich – leaving China, wondered a panel at the China Weekly Hangout in September 2012. Panelists: lawyer Li Meixian, blogger Isaac Mao and business professor Richard Brubaker. Moderation by president of the China Speakers Bureau, Fons Tuinstra.

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