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Beijing overtakes NYC as billionaire capital of the world

By Andrew V. Pestano Follow @AVPLive9 Contact the Author   |   Feb. 25, 2016 at 11:41 AM
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BEIJING, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- China has overtaken the United States as the country with the most billionaires, with Beijing replacing New York City as the billionaire capital of the world.

According to the Hurun Institute's 2016 Global Rich List, there are now 2,188 billionaires in the world -- up 99 since last year. China has overtaken the United States with 568 billionaires, compared to 535 in the United States. India remains in third place.

"Despite its own slowdown and falling stock markets, China minted more new billionaires than any other country in the world last year, mainly on the back of new listings," Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief researcher of Hurun Report, said in a statement. "Growth in billionaires for the rest of the world was held back by a slowdown in the global economy, the strengthening of the U.S. dollar and the drop in oil prices. The number of billionaires, however, has jumped 50 percent since 2013."

Although China now hosts the most billionaires, the United States still holds 8 of the top 10 billionaires worldwide, or 11 considering there is a tie between France's Bernard Arnault of LVMH and the United States' Michael Bloomberg for 10th.

One of the most significant increases in wealth was made by Amazon's Jeff Bezos, who jumped 18 spots to claim fourth place. He now has a net worth of $53 billion, up $24 billion since last year.

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, the number one and two billionaires worldwide, saw their wealth decrease 6 percent and 11 percent, respectively. Gates continues to lead Buffett in terms of net worth with $80 billion to Buffett's $68 billion.

Amancio Ortego of Spain was the third richest person in the world, according to the Huran Global Rich List, and Carlos Slim, a Lebanese-born citizen of Mexico, was the fifth richest.

No Chinese billionaires claimed any of the top 10 spots on the list.

The combined wealth of all 568 Chinese billionaires on the list is $1.4 trillion. Real estate generated the largest number of billionaires in China -- 117 -- followed by manufacturing and the technology industry.

Wang Jianlin, chairman of the Dalian Wanda Group, China's biggest real estate developer, was the richest Chinese man on the list with $26 billion.

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