Billionaires’ club shrinks as economy wobbles

The world lost 57 billionaires last year as economic woes and the unexpected strengthening of the US dollar wiped $388 billion (CHF386 billion) from their combined wealth. Switzerland had three fewer billionaires; the 33 who remain saw their bank accounts shrink by $16 billion. The latest edition of the Billionaires Report from Swiss wealth manager UBS and consultants PwC made for grim reading for the top 1% of wealthy individuals around the world. Last year saw the biggest falls in their riches since the 2008 financial crisis and the first drop in their riches in three years. In China, 48 people became mere multi-millionaires, with 22 US citizens and 13 Indians suffering the same fate. This left a total of 2,101 billionaires dotted around the world, which is still an increase of 589 since 2013. They control a combined wealth of $8.5 trillion. The growth rate of women reaching the higher echelons of wealth in the past five years (46% increase) outstripped men (39%). There were ...
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