Sat, Nov 09, 2019 – 5:50 AM
AMID mounting geopolitical tensions and sluggish growth, Singapore’s richest are getting richer, generating their wealth from feeding the robust demand for goods and services of Asia’s growing middle class.
Across the rest of the world, however, billionaire wealth is dipping.
Fresh figures from a report by UBS and PwC on Friday show that the total wealth of Singapore’s 22 billionaires climbed 10.5 per cent last year to US$71.3 billion.
This comes even as the combined fortunes of the world’s ultra-rich shrank for the first time in a decade, down US$388 billion to US$8.54 trillion in 2018.
Singapore billionaires welcomed into their fold two new members, who have a combined net worth of US$8.6 billion, said the report.
Singapore’s growth was in part lifted by the consumer and retail sector, which more than doubled year on year to account for 20 per cent of the country’s billionaire wealth. Although real estate retains the largest share of the billionaire wealth pie (41 per cent), retail and consumer firms have been reaping the benefits of rising demand by the region’s middle class.
Ravi Raju, UBS group’s managing director and head of ultra high net worth for the Asia-Pacific, told reporters on Friday: “As the middle class (population) rises in countries like Indonesia, China and India, the consumer and retail industry is…