There were 57 fewer billionaires on the planet at the end of last year than there were a year earlier, as the global stock market rout stripped the world’s wealthiest people of a collective $388bn (£302bn). It is the first time that billionaires’ wealth has fallen since the 2008 global financial crisis.
According to a report by the Swiss bank UBS, the number of people with a paper fortune that stretches to nine zeros fell from 2,158 in 2017 to 2,101 in 2018. Billionaires’ collective fortunes dropped by 4.3% from a record $8.9tn to $8.5tn. It is still more than eight times the value of Apple, the world’s most valuable company.