Billionaire count: 49
Total wealth: $300 billion
Brazil is the only Latin American country to make the list of the top 10 countries with the most billionaires, even though the region’s ultra-wealthy population increased by 3.5 percent this year. Brazil ranks ninth in the world for its ultra-rich population of 4,640. These are people who are worth $30 million and more.
The combined wealth of Brazil’s billionaires account for more than a third of its ultra-rich group wealth of $865 billion, even though they represent only one percent of that population. The number of billionaires in Brazil, meanwhile, fell by just one this year, but the group’s combined wealth decreased by more than 6 percent. On average, Brazil’s 49 billionaires are worth $6.1 billion each. However, the wealth of the country’s richest man, Eike Batista (pictured), is more than double that figure at $14.9 billion, according to Forbes.
A sharp dip in the country’s gross domestic product growth from 7.5 percent in 2010 to 2.7 percent in 2011 is one of the key factors behind the drop in wealth, as Europe’s debt crisis eroded demand for its exports. Equity markets in Brazil also fell by 10 percent in the 12-month measuring period starting August 2011, while the local currency, the real, devalued by 31 percent, according to Wealth-X.