Here’s why India’s billionaires club is shrinking

Residential and commercial buildings stand in Mumbai, India, on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg

Number of billionaires in India has declined by 10.9% to 106 by the end of 2018 impacted by an uncertain economic environment and financial stress, said a report by global financial services company UBS and consulting firm PWC.

According to the latest ‘Billionaire Effect’ report published this month, total net worth of India’s billionaires have also fallen by 8.6% to $405.3 billion in 2018 from the previous year.

“India’s economy went through financial stress, and consumer demand was subdued. Levels of trust dropped, and nobody is ready to lend anymore,” said a representative of an Indian consumer and retail billionaire in the report.

As per the report, 58% of the total billionaires in India are self made as opposed to inherited.

Wealth creation of billionaires across the globe also dipped in 2018 with Asia Pacific Region (APAC) seeing the sharpest fall, particularly in China and India.

Total number of billionaires across the globe dropped to 2101, down by 57 from the year-round period. Similarly, wealth dropped by 4.3% to $8.5 trillion “in the face of a strong US dollar, trade friction, fears of lower economic growth, and financial market,” as per the report.

“2018 was a challenging year as the geopolitics of US/China trade friction intensified, leading to fears of lower economic growth,” the report said.

However, billionaire wealth grew by 34.5% from 2013 to 2018 as compared to the previous five year period.

The report covers billionaires from 43 countries in the Americas, EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and APAC. As part of the report over 100 UBS advisors were also surveyed.

Billionaire wealth in APAC corrected by 8.0% in 2018 to $2.5 trillion affected by the slowing growth in China and rising US interest rates. The region has 754 billionaires.

Despite a drop in the number of billionaires in China to 325 (down by 48), it was home to almost an eighth of all billionaires’ wealth worldwide in 2018, it said.

“China’s entrepreneurs have become the world’s second largest billionaire group over the past five years, overtaking Russia’s, ” the report said..

Interestingly, women became billionaires at a faster rate than men over the five years to the end of 2018 according to the report.

The number of female billionaires increased by 46% to 233 by the end of last year. Meanwhile, the number of men expanded by 39%, according to the report.

“Four in 10 of 2018’s self-made female billionaires built businesses in the consumer and retail sector,” it said.

The article was first reported on Livemint.com

 

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.