Asia has more billionaires than any other continent, overtaking the U.S. for the first time

There were 1,453 people around the world with a personal wealth of $1 billion  or more as of January, said the Hurun Report, a luxury magazine publisher that  compiled the list. Asia had 608 billionaires, North America 440 and Europe  324. It is believed to be the first time Asia has been named as home of the  largest proportion of super-rich on any global list.

US business magazine Forbes said in its most recent international rich list,  published in March last year, that the Asia-Pacific region had 315 billionaires,  compared to 450 from North America and 310 in Europe.

Among individual countries, the United States and China dominated the Hurun  list, with 408 and 317 billionaires respectively, followed by Russia, Germany  and India.

Mexican telecoms czar Carlos Slim, 73, was ranked as the “Richest Man on the  Planet” with a personal fortune of $66 billion. Slim also topped last year’s  Forbes global list. US investor Warren Buffett and Amancio Ortega of Spain, founder of fashion  brand Zara, were second and third in the Hurun Report rankings, with a net worth  of $58 billion and $55 billion respectively.

Hong Kong investor Li Ka-shing  kept his title of  Asia’s richest man with $32 billion, the seventh wealthiest person in the  world. “In China we’ve seen a huge urbanisation boom and that has created a lot of  wealth in property,” Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief researcher of the  Hurun Report, told AFP.

Zong Qinghou, who heads soft-drink producer Wahaha, and Wang Jianlin of  property developer Wanda were the only two from mainland China to make it into  the top 100. The Hurun Report estimated the total wealth of the world’s dollar  billionaires at $5.5 trillion, roughly the size of the Japanese economy last  year. Real estate, telecommunications, media and technology and retail were the  most common sources of wealth, it added.

Li Ka-shing, richest man in Asia

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