The rich get richer: Wealth of billionaires reach record highs during the pandemic

By the end of July, the cumulative wealth of billionaires stood at around $10.2 trillion.

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While the pandemic initially had an impact on the world's billionaires in February and March, their wealth had bounced back by 27.5% between April and the end of July.
Zurich: The wealth of the world's billionaires reached record heights this year despite the global coronavirus crisis, led by tech, health and industry "innovators and disruptors" like Elon Musk, said a report published Wednesday.

By the end of July, the cumulative wealth of billionaires stood at around $10.2 trillion, according to a study by Swiss bank UBS and accounting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers.

That exceeded the previous peak of $8.9 trillion recorded in 2017.


The annual inventory of the super-rich's fortunes identified 2,189 dollar billionaires at the end of July -- 31 more than in 2017.

The report noted that the coronavirus crisis accelerated a trend in this select club that is seeing "innovators and disruptors" in the technology, healthcare and industry sectors edge out those in more traditional areas like entertainment or real estate.

But it gave rise to some sharp criticism at a time of pandemic-led economic hardship.
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"Billionaires doing very nicely out of the #Covid_19 pandemic, ordinary people left with debt, businesses collapsing, unemployment rocketing, people suffering and making huge sacrifices whilst the worlds richest laugh all the way to the bank!," tweeted Angela Rayner, deputy leader of Britain's Labour Party.

The report nevertheless said billionaires had "given more than ever before in a space of a few months."

'Fortunes are polarising'
According to the report, the pandemic initially had an impact on the world's billionaires.

Their wealth fell 6.6 percent in February and March as the world feared for economic growth.
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Elon-Musk_640x480_Reuters
According to Forbes, Elon Musk briefly joined the very select group of $100-billion men in August - coming in fifth - as share prices in Tesla soared.

A stock market crash in March saw some tumble out of the billionaires' club, before a sharp rebound in technology and health stocks began.

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Soon, their wealth had bounced back by 27.5 percent between April and the end of July.

"Fortunes are polarising as business innovators and disruptors deploy technology to be among the leaders of today's economic revolution," the report said.

"The Covid-19 crisis just accentuated this divergence" with other billionaires who are "on the wrong side of economic, technological, societal and environmental trends" and are becoming less wealthy.

The report pointed for instance to South African-born innovator Elon Musk, whose companies Tesla and SpaceX "are respectively pioneering the mass-market electric car and private space travel."

According to Forbes, Musk briefly joined the very select group of $100-billion men in August - coming in fifth - as share prices in Tesla soared.

It also singled out China's Zhong Huijuan, a former chemistry professor who is worth $20.4 billion according to Forbes after her drug company Hansoh Pharmaceutical listed last year.

Across 2018, 2019 and the first seven months of 2020, the fortunes of four billionaires in the tech sector increased by 42.5 percent, putting their cumulative fortune at an estimated $1.8 trillion.

Health sector billionaires recorded an increase of 50.3 percent, with a cumulative fortune estimated at $658.6 billion.

These were "boosted by a new age of drug discovery and innovations in diagnostics and medical technology, as well as latterly Covid-19 treatments and equipment," the report said.

By comparison, the net worth of billionaires in industries such as entertainment, real estate and financial services increased by no more than 10 percent.

Ambani's Jets, Mittal's Yachts: Luxurious Rides Of The Ultra-Rich
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Private yachts and customised planes. Check out the travel modes of the jet set that double up as meeting venues, party hangouts and spots to host special occasions.



For those Indians — and those with desi roots — who are counted among the world’s wealthy, island hopping in Europe aboard their customised 200-feet yacht or taking off in their bespoke jet across the continent are but a way of putting a monogram on their commute. Take a look at the rides of the jet set:

Private yachts and customised planes. Check out the travel modes of the jet set that double up as meeting venues, party hangouts and spots to host special occasions.For those Indians — and those with..
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In 2014, this London-based billionaire was spotted relaxing on the Greek island of Mykonos, dressed casually in a white T-shirt and baggy shorts. A newspaper report speculated that while Mittal lounged on the beach alongside other tourists, his 262-feet-long yacht Amevi was parked in the waters nearby. Some amenities on board: Sun decks, a heated swimming pool, a cinema, a gym, a massage room, a hairdressing salon as well as a unique, stabilised pool table to name a few.
In 2014, this London-based billionaire was spotted relaxing on the Greek island of Mykonos, dressed casually in a white T-shirt and baggy shorts. A newspaper report speculated that while Mittal loung..
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More than a decade ago, it was reported that Ambani gifted his wife, Nita, a private jet on her 44th birthday. It was said at the time that this jet was “custom-fitted with an office and a cabin with game consoles, music systems, satellite television and wireless communication. It also has a master bedroom, a bathroom with a range of showers and a bar with mood lighting”. As his personal ride, Ambani reportedly favours a Boeing Business Jet. “Most often, they want access to the same amenities in the air.” That’s how the airplane maker describes their customer’s requirement, a.k.a, a flying home, as that’s what’s wanted.
More than a decade ago, it was reported that Ambani gifted his wife, Nita, a private jet on her 44th birthday. It was said at the time that this jet was “custom-fitted with an office and a cabin with..
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“The ultimate guest and owner’s yacht.” That’s how the captain of Sunrays, delivered in March 2010 describes it. According to a description of the yacht available on the Oceanco’s website, “The upper deck is given over to the owner’s suite and an adjacent VIP suite that can be combined to create one expansive living area. Both suites have fold-down sea balconies. The owner’s exterior foredeck hosts a whirlpool and sunbathing area. The remainder of the yacht’s accommodations for up to 16 guests is on the main deck with one VIP stateroom and four guest cabins.” The large dining room can be converted into a video conference room with the optional use of the adjacent library. Foldable sea balconies provide guests unimpeded views while dining.
“The ultimate guest and owner’s yacht.” That’s how the captain of Sunrays, delivered in March 2010 describes it. According to a description of the yacht available on the Oceanco’s website, “The upper..
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A blog published by an apparel brand, owned by the Aditya Birla Group, documented the private jets of India’s rich and famous. The listicle included the jets owned by Birla, the Group’s chairman. It said, “Few people know that this sharp, business-minded entrepreneur also has a sweet tooth, when it comes to sweet flying machines, with his Gulf Stream (G100) and Cessna Citation...It’s believed that Citations are the world’s most established, well-liked and most trusted fleet of business jets. The jet has high-tech design of pilot-friendly flight decks and luxury cabin interiors. Birla is often spotted taking a ride in his luxurious aircrafts.”
A blog published by an apparel brand, owned by the Aditya Birla Group, documented the private jets of India’s rich and famous. The listicle included the jets owned by Birla, the Group’s chairman. It ..
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This Dubai-based billionaire’s yacht is apparently a fixture in the Mediterranean and was even spotted at the French Riviera around the time that the Cannes Film Festival was held this year, with others in the list for company. Vaswani, who is considered to be one of the richest Indians in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, was once described as he “who lives on multiple continents and sails the Mediterranean each summer in an all-purpose luxury yacht”. The logo of the Stallion Group, which he heads, adorns the yacht.
This Dubai-based billionaire’s yacht is apparently a fixture in the Mediterranean and was even spotted at the French Riviera around the time that the Cannes Film Festival was held this year, with oth..
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Tata’s love for aviation is an open secret. But he is perhaps one of the handful of billionaires in the world who not only owns a private jet, but even flies one. “A lot of people know that Ratan Tata owns a Dassault Falcon 2000 private jet but, what they do not know is that since Tata is a trained pilot, he even flies his own private jet and other jets owned by the Tata group,” said an earlier report.
Tata’s love for aviation is an open secret. But he is perhaps one of the handful of billionaires in the world who not only owns a private jet, but even flies one. “A lot of people know that Ratan Tat..
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“While watching the boat slowly taking shape in Rendsburg, we suddenly became aware of how seductive and mysterious she seemed. We just knew then that we had to call her SIREN and we are absolutely delighted with the result.” That’s the quote attributed to the owner of the 241 feet-long Siren, on the website of Nobiskrug, the German company that built the yacht. Presumably the owner quoted in question is either David Reuben or his brother Simon. Commonly referred to as the Reuben Brothers, they trace their roots back to Mumbai, and are counted among the UK’s richest individuals. Theirs is an award-winning superyacht with a foldable helicopter platform, that can double up as “a sundeck, a dance floor or a stage”.
“While watching the boat slowly taking shape in Rendsburg, we suddenly became aware of how seductive and mysterious she seemed. We just knew then that we had to call her SIREN and we are absolutely d..
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Earlier this year, this scion became the first Indian to take delivery of a fully customised, ACH145 helicopter by Airbus. While his new ride, with a seating capacity of eight is great for covering relatively shorter distances, his Gulfstream G550 aircraft is reportedly his transportation of choice for long-haul journeys. In an earlier interview, Poonawalla had said, “With a 13-hour range, it (his jet) can take me to anywhere in the world with a single halt.” The report further added, “The plane can also come in handy when he (Poonawalla) craves continental food and in case he wants to fly in Michelin star chefs to cook for his friends and him.”
Earlier this year, this scion became the first Indian to take delivery of a fully customised, ACH145 helicopter by Airbus. While his new ride, with a seating capacity of eight is great for covering r..
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