The world's billionaires saw their fortunes decreasing by $388bn in 2018 to $8.5trn after five years of growth.
According to the 2019 UBS/PwC Billionaires Report one of the steepest drops came in Greater China, including Hong Kong and the Asia-Pacific region. Private wealth dropped 4% in Hong Kong to $319.8bn last year. The net worth of China's richest dropped 12.8%, which took dozens off of the billionaires list.
Number of billionaires in India has declined by 10.9% to 106 by the end of 2018 impacted by an uncertain economic environment and financial stress.
The billionaire boom of the past five years has now undergone a natural correction"
However, Asia continued to have the highest number of billionaires worldwide, with 110 new billionaire list entrants and 169 names dropped from the list.
Wealth fell 6.8% to $2.4trn in the EMEA region, with the number of European billionaires dropping by 4.9% to 598 in 2018.
On the contrary, the Americas reported a slight rise in wealth, driven by the tech industry. The net number of billionaires in the region was up by 4.8% to 749 in 2018.
"The billionaire boom of the past five years has now undergone a natural correction," explained Josef Stadler, the head of ultra high net worth at UBS Global Wealth Management, in a statement. "The stronger dollar, combined with greater uncertainty in equity markets amidst a tough geopolitical environment, has created the conditions for this dip."
In spite of the waning growth in terms of wealth, the world's billionaire population increased overall, with the report counting 2,101 billionaires globally, or 589 more than five years ago. And that was driven in large part by women, as the report also noted that at the number of female billionaires grew 46% in five years — outpacing the growth rate of male billionaires, which was 39% in the same period.
The report also noted that the top three personality traits that billionaires share include being determined, being smart risk-takers, and being business-focused, which benefits their businesses.