The Week in Numbers: The Rich Get Richer

The elite rich are getting richer. According to UBS and PricewaterhouseCoopers, billionaire wealth increased 17% to US$6 trillion (S$8.2 trillion) in 2016. The number of billionaires in Asia surpassed that of the United States for the first time ever. But American billionaires still control the most wealth at US$2.8 trillion. There were 117 new billionaires in Asia, to take the total to 637. At the same time, United States saw 25 new billionaires, for a total of 563.

Meanwhile, a survey has found that Singapore’s family-owned businesses generated 7% annualised return since 2006. This is higher than non-family-owned companies and the regional average of just 3% annualised returns. Interestingly, the report also found that younger family-owned companies (first or second generation) tend to do better than older firms, as they generated about 9% a year.

October 29th also marked the end of a year-long grieving period for the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej who reigned for 70 years. The well-loved monarch had passed away on October 13, 2016, at the age of 88. The Thai government estimated that around 200,000 people traveled to Bangkok to attend the $90 million royal cremation ceremony.

Britain’s GDP expanded by 0.4% last quarter. This represented a 1.5% annual gain. This was a slight improvement from the second quarter’s 0.3% rise on a quarterly basis.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said that Singapore’s economic growth is expected to remain firm next year. GDP is forecasted to grow between 2-3%, a slight slowdown from the 4.4% in the second quarter and third quarter of this year. Core inflation is expected to be around 1.5% this year and between 1-2% next year.

Finally, Jeff Bezos has overtaken Bill Gates to become the richest person on Earth. His stake in his company has grown 500 times since listing and hit $88 billion in value on Friday after the company reported another blockbuster quarter.

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