Number of billionaires in Taiwan rises to 35: UBS/PwC

Self-made Taiwanese tycoons account for 69%

British billionaire Richard Branson's Necker Island.

British billionaire Richard Branson's Necker Island. (By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The number of billionaires in Taiwan has risen by four over the past year to reach a total of 35, according to research by the Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The annual Billionaires Insights report lists people whose wealth has reached US$1 billion (NT$31 billion). The fifth edition of the document found 2,158 billionaires with an average wealth of US$4.1 billion, the Liberty Times reported.

For Taiwan, the 35 billionaires were all men, with an average age of 69. Five were newcomers, while one died during the past year. More than two thirds, 69 percent or 24 individuals, could be considered self-made tycoons who had not inherited their wealth, according to the report.

The combined wealth of the Taiwanese billionaires rose by 12 percent to reach a total of US$84.4 billion (NT$2.6 trillion) in the year up to the drawing up of the report.

Consumption, finance and technology were the three sectors which furnished most of the wealth for the tycoons in Taiwan, the Liberty Times noted.

In the Asia Pacific region, Thailand was the country which registered the strongest growth in the wealth and the number of billionaires, with a rise of 43 percent to 30, though only 57 percent were described as self-made.