The world's rich become $1 trillion richer

Dec 29, 2017, 02:07
The world's rich become $1 trillion richer

In August Gates donated $4.6bn worth of Microsoft shares to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the charity he set up with his wife to improve global healthcare and reduce extreme poverty.

The world's billionaires grew richer in 2017, with most of their profits being due to the rallying potential of global stock exchanges.Based on the Bloomberg account by December 26, the total assets of the Bloomberg Billionaires Index of 500 amounted to 5.3 trillion. dollars, from 4.4 trillion. dollars in December 2016.

At 159, the USA now has the biggest number of billionaires on the index, addeding $315 billion to hit a total net worth of $2 trillion.

The globe's 500 richest people, as measured by the Bloomberg billionaires index, have seen the value of the wealth increase by 23% so far this year, taking their combined fortunes to $5.3tn.

"It's part of the second-most robust and second-longest bull market in history", the report quoted Mike Ryan, chief investment officer for the Americas at UBS Wealth Management, as saying.

The Bloomberg Billionaires Index also shows that 38 of the world's richest people are from China, including iconic business moguls like Jack Ma and Pony Ma (not related), both of whom operate in the technology segment.

'Of all the guidance we gave people over the course of this year, the most important advice was staying invested'.

Another notable point is that for this year, the number of Asian billionaires surpassed the US for the first time.

New figures from Bloomberg show that the world's 500 richest people saw their wealth expand this year from $4.4 trillion to more than $5.3 trillion
New figures from Bloomberg show that the world's 500 richest people saw their wealth expand this year from $4.4 trillion to more than $5.3 trillion

At the summit of the billionaires pyramid this year: Jeff Bezos, the founder-boss of Amazon, whose fortune rose by 34.7 billion dollars (as of 28 December). The US has the largest presence on the index, with 159 billionaires who added $315 billion, an 18 per cent gain that gives them a collective net worth of $2 trillion.

The fortune of French telecommunications billionaire Patrick Drahi fell US$4.1 billion to US$6.3 billion, a 39 per cent drop. The U.S. was second, with 25 new 10-figure fortunes.

The biggest billionaire loser of 2017 was Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, who lost $1.9 billion in stock options after he was arrested by the Crown Prince on suspicions of corruption.

He added $17.6 billion to his net worth, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index data compiled on December 20.

The Microsoft founder's overall net worth is now $91.3 billion.

CNBC's Robert Frank said this week that while 2017 was a good year for the ultra-rich, 2018 will be a "boom time for billionaires". Robert Mercer, 71, who plans to step down as co-CEO of the world's most profitable trading fund on January 1, couldn't be confirmed as a billionaire.

With wealth surging to new highs, billionaires may quickly learn that a billion dollars doesn't buy what it used to.

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