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A new report from investment bank UBS and professional services firm PwC has found the world's richest people upped their wealth by nearly a fifth in 2017, with British billionaires upping their income by a quarter. A record, of course. Despite healthy growth in the Americas and Europe, Chinese billionaires expanded their wealth at almost double the pace, growing by 39 percent to Dollars 1.12 trillion. "There are actually more billionaires in the Asia-Pacific region (APAC) today than there are in the U.S., and they crossed us for the first time ever", said Mathews.

This year's survey, based on interviews and financial data, widened its scope to include 2158 individuals from 43 countries, compared to 1550 billionaires from 14 countries cited in last year's report.

The report said the Americas region was still home to the largest concentration of billionaire wealth, but wealth creation was slowing.

Thanks to a strong currency development, Western Europe had strong wealth growth over the past year. While women still represent a small portion of the total number of billionaires overall - 11 percent - their rise could indicate a steady shift in wealth creation.

The study also warned of lower economic growth in the United States and China if the trade war between the two countries escalates.

"But this is just the beginning". Using the advantages of a top-tier university education and a global network, they often create their own new businesses combining latest technology with sustainability goals. They are creating jobs and prosperity, but their impact goes beyond economics.

Numerous country's 373 billionaires - nearly one in five of the global total - are self-made tycoons, often involved in the technology and retail sectors.

Ravi Raju, head of Asia Pacific ultra high-net-worth at UBS Global Wealth Management, said: "Asia's billionaires are young and relentless".

"U.S. billionaires are now global citizens", he added. They attracted the same amount of risk capital for startups in 2017 as their USA brethren.

Billionaires from Asia, especially in the Chinese city of Shenzhen, are now challenging the traditional dominance of Americans as technology entrepreneurs. While 106 Chinese became new billionaires past year, 51 were dropped from the list as their net worth fell below $1 billion. "This cohort is overwhelmingly self-made and determined to capitalise on one of history's greatest moments for new enterprise".

Addressing the speed at which China is gaining on the United States when it comes to wealth creation. Far from being a Wild West with little or no controls, China's government is looking closely at how business is evolving and what the successful entrepreneurs are doing with their money. The reason behind the action remain elusive.