Rich Chinese outnumber wealthy Americans for first time

Rich pickings: Jack Ma, right, co-founder of Alibaba, with Steve Forbes, chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes media, during the Forbes Global CEO Conference in Singapore last week. (AFP)
Updated 21 October 2019

Rich Chinese outnumber wealthy Americans for first time

ZURICH: The number of rich Chinese has surpassed the count of wealthy Americans for the first time as both countries keep churning out millionaires, a study by Credit Suisse showed.
The Swiss bank’s annual wealth survey released on Monday found 100 million Chinese ranked in the global top 10% as of the middle of this year versus 99 million in the United States.
“Despite the trade tension between the United States and China over the past 12 months, both countries have fared strongly in wealth creation, contributing $3.8 trillion and $1.9 trillion respectively,” said Nannette Hechler-Fayd’herbe, global head of economics and research at Credit Suisse.
The ranks of the world’s millionaires have risen by 1.1 million to an estimated 46.8 million, collectively owning $158.3 trillion in net assets, 44% of the global total, the study found.
The United States added more than half of this number –675,000 new millionaires – to its sizeable stock.
A decline in average wealth in Australia — largely due to exchange rates — resulted in 124,000 fewer millionaires there, while Britain lost 27,000 and Turkey 24,000.
The report estimates that 55,920 adults are worth at least $100 million and 4,830 have net assets above $500 million.
It forecast global wealth — which increased 2.6% over the past year — would rise by 27% over the next five years to $459 trillion by 2024. The number of millionaires would also grow over this period to almost 63 million.
The share of the world’s bottom 90% accounts for 18% of global wealth, compared to 11% in the 2000.
“While it is too early to say wealth inequality is now in a downward phase, the prevailing evidence suggests that 2016 may have been the peak for the near future,” it said.


Oil up on slowing pace of coronavirus, Venezuela sanctions

Updated 20 February 2020

Oil up on slowing pace of coronavirus, Venezuela sanctions

  • Financial analysts say epidemic is likely to deal a ‘short-term blow’ to global economy

LONDON: Benchmark Brent oil prices rose for a seventh consecutive day after demand worries eased with a slowing of new coronavirus cases in China and supply was curtailed by a US move to cut more Venezuelan crude from the market.

Brent was up 71 cents at $58.46 a barrel at 1510 GMT. The global benchmark has risen nearly 10 percent since falling last week to its lowest this year. US oil was up 53 cents at $52.58 a barrel.

“Those in doubt of the economic impact from the virus should take heed from Apple’s surprise sales warning ... Put simply, this is the surest sign yet of the coronavirus fallout on the global economy,” said PVM analysts in a note.

S&P Global Ratings said it expected coronavirus would deliver a “short-term blow” to economic growth in China in the first quarter, echoing findings by the International Energy Agency.

Official data showed new cases in China fell for a second straight day, although the World Health Organization said there was not enough data to know if the epidemic was being contained.

The oil market price structure is also showing signs that prompt demand for oil is picking up, as the front-month Brent futures market is moving deeper into backwardation, when near-term prices are higher than later-dated prices.

This week, oil prices were also buoyed by a US decision to blacklist a trading subsidiary of Russia’s Rosneft, which President Donald Trump’s administration said provided a financial lifeline to Venezuela’s government.

Hopes that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allied producers would deepen supply cuts also supported prices.

The grouping, known as OPEC+, has been withholding supply to support prices and meets next month to decide a response to the downturn in demand resulting from the coronavirus epidemic.

But in the US, which is not party to any supply cut agreements, oil production has been rising. US shale production is expected to rise to a record 9.2 million barrels a day next month, the Energy Information Administration said.