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Two Asian billionaires listed among world's richest people

The Diplomat/MCT--Who wants to be a (daily) millionaire? At US$37 million a day, U.S. billionaire investor Warren Buffett had the biggest wealth gain in 2013, although Asia's ultra-rich also had plenty to smile about in the Year of the Snake.

According to a report by Wealth-X, Japan's Masayoshi Son ranked sixth with a US$10.3 billion gain in the year to Dec. 11, while Hong Kong-based Lui Chee Woo ranked ninth with an US$8.3 billion rise in net worth.

The survey of individuals with net assets exceeding US$30 million, ultra high-net worth individuals (UHNWIs) found that Microsoft's Bill Gates had the highest net worth of US$73 billion compared to Buffett's US$59 billion, with SoftBank's Son and Galaxy Entertainment's Lui neck and neck at around US$19 billion each.

The top 10 list was dominated by American technology entrepreneurs, including Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, and Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, although American casino mogul Sheldon Adelson also featured with the third-highest gain.

With an average rise of US$29 million a day in 2013, the group increased their wealth by nearly 42 percent to a collective US$347 billion, up from US$245 billion in January 2013.

Asia 'Richest by 2024'

While the report said “Asia's star is still rising,” the region was hit by a slowdown in China in 2013, with growth propped up by Japan, Hong Kong and Indonesia. Japan benefited from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's “Abenomics,” while Hong Kong gained an exodus of wealthy Chinese from the mainland.

Growth in the population of UHNWIs was largely due to North America and Europe, with those two regions responsible for a gain of nearly 10,000 such individuals and a total wealth increase of US$1.5 trillion.

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