Asia is minting billionaires faster than anywhere else in the world, and this elite group is giving Russian oligarchs and Middle Eastern aristocrats a run for their money in the trophy-assets stakes.
Here are five of the region's billionaires and some of the purchases they crossed off their bling wish lists this year.
This former taxi driver started building his fortune investing in the Shanghai stock market, then pouring money into real estate, pharmaceuticals and finance. He and his wife Wang Wei have filled two private museums with art and antiques. Though he's worth billions, he flies for free on frequent flyer miles earned using his American Express Centurion Card to buy art.
An avowed "tuhao," the Chinese term for nouveau riche, Liu enjoys thumbing his nose at the art establishment, while outbidding all comers at auction. Last year he paid $36 million for a 500-year-old ceramic bowl that once belonged to a Chinese emperor, and then caused a furor by drinking tea from it.
In November he took things to another level, picking up Amedeo Modigliani’s 1917 “Nu Couche (Reclining Nude)” for $170.4 million at a Christie's sale in New York, the second-highest amount ever paid for a painting at auction.
The family led by Indian billionaire patriarch Cyrus Poonawalla, chairman of Serum Institute of India Ltd., the world's biggest vaccine maker, paid $120 million for this Mumbai mansion as a weekend home.
The sprawling compound's 50,000 square feet may not be enough space, says his son Adar, who makes the four-hour trip from his home in Pune to Mumbai, where he races horses. There are plans to improve its facade, gut former security rooms, and perhaps build another floor if Mumbai's regulations protecting landmark structures allow it.
Built by a maharajah in 1938 and sold in 1957 to the U.S. government, which used it as a consulate for over 50 years, the property sits on a two-acre plot overlooking the Arabian Sea. The sale price was a record for a residential property in Mumbai, according to local media reports.