Economy

Wealth of billionaires rises to $10.2 trillion amid coronavirus crisis

Wealth of billionaires rises to $10.2 trillion amid coronavirus crisis”

The latest Billionaire Insights report from investment bank UBS and accountant PwC said the super-rich had benefited from a V-shaped rebound from the first Covid wave by the end of July, surpassing the previous $8.9 trillion peak reached at the end of 2017.

"Billionaires did extremely well during the Covid crisis, not only [did] they ride the storm to the downside, but also gained up on the upside [as stock markets rebounded]", said Josef Stadler, head of UBS's global family office department.

Between April 7 and July 31 this year, billionaires across every industry covered by the study saw their wealth rise by double digits, with billionaires in the technology, healthcare and industrial sectors leading the pack with 36 per cent to 44 per cent gains.

Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos laughs as he talks to the media at Amazon's headquarters in Seattle, Washington, on January 29, 2018.

From 2018 through July 2020, tech billionaires saw their wealth rise 42.5% to $1.8 trillion, the report found, while billionaires deriving their fortune from healthcare similarly saw their wealth rise 50.3% during the period to $658.6 billion.

In Germany, the number of billionaires grew from 114 to 119.

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In total, global billionaire wealth climbed by more than a quarter (27.5%) from April to the end of July, the report said.

"Billionaires doing very nicely out of the #Covid_19 pandemic, ordinary people left with debt, businesses collapsing, unemployment rocketing, people suffering and making huge sacrifices whilst the worlds richest laugh all the way to the bank!", tweeted Angela Rayner, deputy leader of Britain's Labour Party.

"This is a key moment in economic history, a time of exceptional, Schumpeterian creative destruction", the report said.

"Billionaire wealth equates to a fortune nearly impossible to spend over multiple lifetimes of absolute luxury", Hilyard said.

"Is there a risk they may be singled out by society?" Yes", he said. "Are they aware of it? The report cites the case of Zhong Huijuan, a former chemistry teacher who became the world's wealthiest healthcare billionaire following the initial public offering of her Hansoh Pharmaceutical on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2019.

CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos' worth has been estimated at more than $110 billion. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Keep comments relevant to the article. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.



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