Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images
LONDON – Billionaires' fortunes jumped more than a quarter during the height of the coronavirus crisis, according to new research. A rally in the equity markets helped the world's wealthiest break the $ 10 trillion mark for the first time.
The "Riding the Storm" study published on Wednesday by Swiss bank UBS and accounting firm PwC found that the global fortunes of billionaires rose from $ 8 trillion in early April to $ 10.2 trillion between April and July this year is.
This reflected a 27.5% increase in wealth, beating the previous high of $ 8.9 trillion that was recorded in late 2017. The number of billionaires worldwide also hit a new high of 2,189, compared to the previous record of 2,158 in 2017.
UBS and PwC said the report covered more than 2,000 billionaires from 43 markets worldwide, accounting for around 98% of total billionaire net worth.
Between April 7 and July 31 this year, the report found billionaires in all industries saw double-digit increases in wealth, with those in industrial, technology and healthcare sectors growing between 36% and 44%.
At that time, many countries around the world have taken draconian measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Millions of people have lost their jobs and are struggling to cope with government programs.
"Industry benefited disproportionately as markets anticipated a significant economic recovery, while tech companies performed well due to both coronavirus demand for their goods and services and markets that discounted the value of their future cash flows in a low interest rate environment . " the report said.
A woman wearing a protective mask walks past yachts in the port of Monaco on the first day of the partial lifting of restrictions on May 4, 2020, the 49th day of a lockdown to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the novel coronavirus.
VALERY HACHE | AFP via Getty Images
Global stock markets have rebounded since the pandemic began after many governments launched unprecedented stimulus packages to offset the effects of the global health crisis.
To date, nearly 36 million people worldwide have contracted the coronavirus, with 1.05 million deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
According to the report, a survey of 84 PwC partners who work with billionaire clients found that more than half of those polled expected new wealth taxes and an increase in direct taxes.
The partners said the billionaire customers "see the size of the government support packages and realize that the money has to come from somewhere."
The report did not classify the individual fate of the world's super-rich, but the richest person on the planet remains Jeff Bezos.
Amazon's founder and CEO has an estimated total net worth of $ 183 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, an increase of more than $ 68 billion since the beginning of the year.
As of October 7, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates ($ 123 billion), Tesla CEO Elon Musk ($ 101 billion) and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg ($ 98.1 billion) Bezos followed on the list of the richest people in the world.
Last year, Oxfam found that the world's 26 richest people were worth more than the poorest half of the world's population combined.