The coronavirus pandemic has made the super-rich around the globe even richer, according to a study by consulting firm PwC and the major Swiss bank UBS.
At the end of July, the total assets of the world's more than 2,000 billionaires had risen to a record level of around 10.2 trillion dollars, according to the analysis, published Wednesday.
This level surpasses the previous peak of 8.9 trillion dollars, reached at the end of 2017.
The increased wealth of the super rich came thanks in part to the recovery of stock markets, while investments in fast-growing areas such as technology and health care in particular proved to be drivers of wealth, according to the study.
There are currently 2,189 men and women who have fortunes of more than a billion dollars.
Cash, real estate and luxury goods as well as stocks and corporate assets were taken into account in asseing their fortunes, while liabilities were deducted.
Geographically, Mainland China benefited most, as billionaire wealth grew fastest of all in Asia. By early April 2020, there were 389 Chinese billionaires, worth a total of 1.2 trillion US dollars. Their wealth had grown by almost 9 times, compared with twice in the US.
Tech and healthcare billionaires
Tech billionaires prospered most in the decade, from 68 in 2009 to 234 in 2020, while the number of healthcare billionaires grew from 48 to 167.
The number of billionaires in e-commerce, social media and FinTech is increasing, while the first billionaires are now appearing in EdTech and drones.
In Germany, the net assets of the ultra-rich rose to 594.9 billion dollars by the end of July, following a slump at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
The number of billionaires in the country grew from from 114 to 119 members.
For the report, UBS and PwC analysed data from 2,189 billionaires in 43 countries and conducted interviews with 60 billionaires.