Hong Kong: Asia's densest billionaire city

Updated: 2014-11-07 08:15

(HK Edition)

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Hong Kong is the fourth-densest billionaire city in the world with 11.2 billionaires per million people, ahead of Singapore - the only other city that appears on the Top 10 list in Asia - according to the Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census 2014 report released on September 17.

The SAR is currently home to 82 billionaires with a combined net worth of $343 billion.

In terms of billionaire population size, Hong Kong ranks third in Asia - behind the mainland, which has 190 billionaires, and India with 100 billionaires. The city saw seven more individuals joining the super rich club in the past year - an increase of 9.3 percent over the previous year.

According to the report, 24 percent of Hong Kong's billionaires made their fortunes through real estate. Many of them initially inherited some of their wealth, giving them the initial seed capital for investment and enabling them to attain large returns from the city's strong real-estate market.

Other key findings show that the average age of Hong Kong's billionaires is 64 years, and 77 percent of them are married, with women accounting for less than 15 percent of the wealthiest population. Nine out of 10 Hong Kong billionaires are active philanthropists.For 28.7 percent of billionaire philanthropists worldwide, their biggest contributions are to education or higher education, with some of the largest individual gifts going to universities.

Harvard University said it has just received the biggest donation in its history - $350 million to the university's School of Public Health - from a foundation led by Hong Kong property tycoons Ronnie and Gerald Chan, who rank 17th on Forbes's Hong Kong's Richest List for 2014.

Asia saw the largest increase in terms of billionaire wealth, with the fortunes of its billionaires swelling by 18.7 percent in the past year.

The region is responsible for 30 percent of the net increase in global billionaire wealth in 2014. Asia's billionaire population grew by 10 percent in 2014, with 52 new entrants into the billionaire club.

It's estimated that the global billionaire population will surpass 3,800 by 2020. This forecast also reflects the wealth distribution of the population with the possibility of some certain sectors becoming increasingly profitable.

The growth of the technology industry is likely to create a significant number of new billionaires in the coming years. Currently, less than 4 percent of the world's billionaires have made their wealth in this sector, and more innovation and growth are anticipated.

(HK Edition 11/07/2014 page9)