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41 Chinese join ranks of world’s billionaires

2014-02-26 08:29 Shanghai Daily Web Editor: qindexing

China is second only to the United States in its number of dollar billionaires, with Hong Kong-based real estate magnate Li Ka-shing, 85, retaining the title of Asia's richest man, according to the latest Hurun Global Rich List.

On the back of a 33 percent resurgence in the US stock market, the world's billionaire club had risen by 28.5 percent as of January 17 to a record high of 1,867 individuals holding a combined wealth of US$6.9 trillion — more than the GDP of Japan, the world's third largest economy after the US and China.

The US, with 481 billionaires, and China, with 358, dominate the list. Of the 414 new billionaires, 72 are from the US and 41 from China.

Self-made billionaires account for 68 percent of the total, while half the self-made female billionaires are from China.

For the first time in three years, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, 58, overtook Mexican telecom tycoon Carlos Slim, 74, to become the richest man in the world with a 26 percent increase in his fortune to US$68 billion. Slim slipped to fourth as his wealth shrunk 9 percent to US$60 billion on the back of a weak Mexican peso.

Legendary investor Warren Buffett, 83, and fast fashion chain Zara founder Amancio Ortega, 77, were in second and third positions for the second year running, with their wealth growing 10 percent and 13 percent to US$64 billion and US$62 billion.

Li Ka-shing ranked 12th globally with US$33 billion, up 3 percent.

Li came first among billionaires of Chinese origin, whose number totaled 457, up 108 from last year, which means nearly one in four billionaires can trace their ancestry back to China regardless of their current nationality.

New York tops the list ahead of Moscow as billionaire capital of the world, ahead of Moscow, Hong Kong, Beijing and London.

Globally, technology overtook real estate to be the biggest source of wealth though the latter remained the biggest money-spinning industry for China, taking a 26.7 percent share of its billionaire club.

Of the top 10 property developers in the world, seven are from China, including Wang Jianlin, 59, of Dalian Wanda, the richest man on the Chinese mainland with a fortune of US$25 billion.

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