Asia’s richest have collectively lost US$ 137 billion in 2018, but there are notable winners as well.
Did you lose money this year? Fret not, as you have Asia’s elite for company. The 128 richest people in Asia on the Bloomberg Billionaires index have lost a combined wealth of US$ 137 billion in 2018. More interestingly, this is the first time wealth has declined in Asia since the list was inaugurated in 2012.
Trade wars, combined with fears of overvaluation have hit the markets
hard. Chinese tech has been hit the hardest. Over 2/3rd of the 40 Chinese on the list lost wealth, including Wanda Group’s Wang Jianlin (- US$ 10.8 billion) and JD.com founder Richard Liu(- US$ 4.8 billion).
Twenty three Indians on the list lost US$ 23 billion, led by Arcelor Mittal Chairman Lakshmi Mittal (-US$ 5.6 billion, or 29% of his net worth) and Sun Pharma’s Dilip Shanghvi (-US$ 4.6 billion).
In South Korea, one-third of the decline of US$ 17.2 billion (for the 7 billionaires on the list) was attributed to Lee Kun-Hee and Jay Y Lee of Samsung Industries.
Meanwhile in Hong Kong, Li Ka-shing, former chairman, CK Hutchison and CK Asset, lost US$ 6 billion in 2018, while the second richest Lee Shau Kee lost US$ 3.3 billion poorer.
There were some winners as well, including Xiaomi Corp Chairman Lei Jun (+US$ 8.7 billion); e-commerce platform Pinduoduo Inc.’s Colin Huang (+US$ 6.6 billion) and Japan’s richest person and founder and president of Fast Retailing Tadashi Yanai (+US$ 6.3 billion). RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani also added US$ 4 billion to his valuation, and even overtook former Alibaba Group Chairman Jack Ma as the richest person in Asia.
According to Philip Wyatt, Hong Kong-based economist for UBS Group AG feels that conditions will be much better in 2019 and with new technologies getting government support as well as capital, the region could actually produce more of the mega rich.