Look China rich help drive global billionaire wealth to $12.3 trillion

Founder of Microsoft Bill Gates

Roughly half of China's new billionaires saw their wealth dip below 10 digits by the end of the year, the report showed.

A burgeoning tech industry and startup culture that's poised to challenge Silicon Valley has been the engine for much of China's wealth creation, according to the report, which noted that China produced nearly three times as many self-made billionaires as the US a year ago.

Numerous country's 373 billionaires - nearly one in five of the global total - are self-made tycoons, often involved in the technology and retail sectors. "Over the past five years (2012-2017), the sum passed by deceased billionaires to beneficiaries has grown by an average of 17 percent each year", the UBS report concludes. The collective wealth of USA billionaires gained 12% climbing to $3.1 trillion.

It said: 'China's billionaire entrepreneurs are leading their country's economic transformation, and by extension that of the rest of Asia. Asia has 711 billionaires, compared to 631 in North America. While 106 Chinese became new billionaires previous year, 51 were dropped from the list as their net worth fell below $1 billion.

"China's vast population, technology innovation and productivity growth combined with government support, are providing unprecedented opportunities for individuals not only to build businesses but also to change people's lives for the better", said Josef Stadler, UBS' head of ultra-high net worth.

A dip in stocks globally is unlikely to hinder a rapid increase in the number of billionaires in China, but an escalation in the US-China trade war could.

It said 97 percent of them are self-made, many of them in sectors such as technology and retail.

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By UBS' estimation, 30 percent of the 199 new self-made entrepreneurs worldwide in 2017 accumulated their wealth through innovation and business model disruption. Rates will be higher; we expect the Federal Reserve to hike rates three times next year, so the risk premium is higher. Last year, 106 new billionaires were created there - equivalent to over two new billionaires being minted each week.

Younger billionaires are the driving force behind a growth in philanthropy and sustainable investing, as they use their wealth to create positive social impact.

"Billionaires are embracing sustainable investing".

In Europe, wealth grew 19 percent to United States dollars 1.9 trillion.

The US still leads regionally, with 585 billionaires, but wealth creation in the region is slowing. Wealth transition from just five families accounted for 30 percent of the continent's wealth expansion.

Billionaires are richer than before too, with their average net-worth sitting at $4 billion.