06/05/2015, 00.00
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China, 100 new billionaires in less than a month: the "miracle" of the new Stock Exchange

The share growth in electronics and heavy industry has allowed sector industrialists to make over one billion dollars in about 28 days. However the poor are about 200 million, and the rate of economic inequality crosses the "red line" of potential revolt.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - The rise in stock prices and the growing influence of the union between the Shanghai and Hong Kong Stock Exchange have "created" 100 new billionaires in China in less than a month. The record, set in US dollars, was mainly broken by entrepreneurs in the electronics and heavy industry sectors.

Among the new super-rich are Yaogen Wen, leader of Wuxi Huadong Heavy Machinery, and Liang Qin Wang Yi and her husband, owners of Yangzhou Yangjie Electronic Technology (leader in the construction of electronic components).

A study by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the investment bank UBS points out that "almost every week China can count on a new millionaire. In the first quarter of the year, thanks in part to the stock market boom, the trend seems to be confirmed. "

According to the Forbes list of billionaires published in March 2015, there are 213 billionaires considered "super-rich" in China. This is an increase of 61 compared to 2014, with 71 new personalities emerging.

Hong Kong has long been the second most important financial center in Asia after Tokyo; on the other hand, in recent years Shanghai has managed to carve out an increasingly important role thanks to the futures market.

According to current data, the twinning between the two Exchanges - launched in November 2014 - will create a turnover in a position to leapfrog to the stock market capitalization of Japan, third in the world and first in Asia with 4,543,170,000,000 dollars.

However, concerns over poverty and social inequality in the nation are also growing. According to official government figures – which bases poverty on earning less than a dollar a day - 82 million Chinese live in poverty.

Zheng Wenkai, the government official who presented the data in June 2014, stated if China were to adopt international World Bank standards (which considers poor anyone who earns less than $ 1.25 a day), there would be more than 200 million poor out of a total population of 1.36 billion people.

Although this data is better than those of the 1980’s - when about half of the total population was living in poverty - it should be noted that these numbers are very high when compared to the number of the rich in the country.

In 2014, the Gini coefficient - which measures economic equality within population – was set at 0.469. The scale of the Gini coefficient ranges from 0 to 1, where 0 represents a condition of perfect equality where everyone has the same income, and 1 indicates maximum inequality with one person holding all the wealth. 0.4 represents the thin red line beyond which inequality is marked and the risk of popular revolts increases.

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