Spy Scandal Leaves UBS Group AG With A Headache

Photographer: Stefan Wermuth/Bloomberg

The huge boost to the fortunes of technology and health-care billionaires during the coronavirus pandemic may be the beginning of a more permanent trend.

The Covid-19 shock could act as a catalyst to spur increased opportunities for those who offer digital or other tech solutions, while the wealth of those in older industries may in turn suffer, UBS Group AG and PricewaterhouseCoopers said Wednesday in a report.

“Those that are the innovators and the disruptors, the architects of creative destruction in the economy, are still increasing their wealth,” the 2020 Billionaires Insights report found. “The net wealth of billionaires in entertainment, financial services, materials and real estate sectors lagged the rest of the universe.”

Despite the global economic shock, the world’s 500 richest people are a combined $813 billion richer now than they were at the beginning of the year, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Total billionaire wealth surged to a fresh peak of $10.2 trillion in July, up from $8.9 trillion at the end of 2017, according to the report findings. The heavy lifting came from the tech and health-care sectors, where fortunes jumped by 43% and 50%, respectively. Net worth among those in entertainment, materials, real estate and even finance, by comparison, grew at 10% or less.

Read more: What the Pandemic Showed Us About Global Inequality: QuickTake

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