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Asia's 128 Billionaires Lost $137 Billion This Year Unstable market, international trade tensions and worries about a US recession wiped off large amounts of money across the world

By Pooja Singh

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur Asia Pacific, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

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Amid difficult stock market conditions and international trade tensions, the richest people on Earth, including Jeff Bezos, Jack Ma, Mark Zuckerberg, Wang Jianlin and Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, lost $511 billion this year.

A Bloomberg report says that the 500 people on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, which included 128 from Asia, were left with a combined net worth of $4.7 trillion by the end of 2018, a sharp decline from the record $5.6 trillion at start of the year.

When it came to China, over two-thirds of the 40 Chinese saw a decline in their wealth. Multinational conglomerate Wanda Group's Wang Jianlin suffered the biggest loss in Asia at $10.8 billion. While e-commerce firm JD.com's founder Richard Liu, who was arrested earlier this year in the US on suspicion of rape before being released, had his wealth cut almost in half to $4.8 billion.

The seven richest people in South Korea saw $17.2 billion vanish, with Samsung Electronics' father-son duo, Lee Kun-Hee and Jay Y Lee, accounting for more than a third of that decline.

In India, meanwhile, $21 billion were lost. Steelmaker Lakshmi Mittal led the way, losing 29 percent of his net worth ($5.6 billion), followed by Dilip Shanghvi, the founder of Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, who suffered a setback of $4.6 billion.

Hong Kong's real estate titan Li Ka-shing lost $6 billion in 2018, while Lee Shau Kee, the city's second-richest person, was $3.3 billion poorer.

The top three losers in Asia were from China. As of 7 December, nearly 40 percent of the affluent, lost their billionaire status. Here are the top three:

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1. Wang Jianlin

The 64-year-old founder of Dalian Wanda Group, among the world's biggest commercial real estate developers with more than 200 plazas in China, suffered a loss of $11.1 billion. He's currently selling off his assets across the world to cut debts.

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2. Jack Ma

Co-founder of the Alibaba Group, Ma, the 54-year-old who recently became a member of the Communist Party, suffered $10.021 billion in losses.

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3. Ma Huateng

The 47-year-old CEO of multinational investment holding conglomerate Tencent saw his fortune decline $9.829 billion.

Pooja Singh

Former Features Editor, Entrepreneur Asia Pacific

 

A stickler for details, Pooja Singh likes telling people stories. She has previously worked with Mint-Hindustan Times, Down To Earth and Asian News International-Reuters. 

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