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Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the total wealth of all billionaires across the globe surged 32 percent during the period under review to $14.7 trillion. According to the Hurun Global Rich List 2021 published on Tuesday, the world produced 421 new billionaires – an average of 8 fresh billionaires a week.
“Despite the disruption caused by Covid-19, this year has seen the biggest wealth increase of the last decade. A stock market boom, driven partly by quantitative easing, and flurry of new listings have minted eight new dollar billionaires a week for the past year,” said Rupert Hoogewerf, Hurun Report chairman and chief researcher.
More than 200 billionaires were created in China last year as booming stock markets and a flood of new listings offset the ravages of the virus pandemic, The Hurun report said on Tuesday.
The total number of billionaires has now reached a record 3,228 from 2,402 companies and 68 countries. The wealth calculations are a snapshot of January 15, 2021.
Once holding the top spot on the Hurun Global Rich List in 2020 and 2019, Ma has dropped back to fourth place, tailing bottled water maker Nongfu Spring’s Zhong Shanshan, Tencent Holding’s Pony Ma, and e-commerce Pinduoduo’s Colin Huang.
Hurun list showed 259 people breaking into the billion-dollar bracket –– more than the rest of the world combined –– taking China's total to 1,058, the first country to break the 1,000-mark.
In comparison, the second-best performer was the United States which saw 70 new billionaires created, taking its total to 696.