Asian millionaires swell global rich list
The eurozone plunged into crisis and unemployment soared, but 175,000 people still made enough cash last year to join the global millionaires’ club.
The new entrants, mostly from China and India, bring the number of millionaire households across the world to 12.6m, according to a global wealth report by Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
The US still boasts the most millionaires with 5.13m households in the top bracket, despite a fall of 129,000. China, which added 193,000 to 1.4m, is within touching distance of Japan, which is in second place with 1.58m. Britain is in fourth place with 411,000 millionaires.
The influx of oligarchs and other wealthy foreigners enabled the UK to boast the second highest number of “ultra high net worth” (UHNW) individuals, with 1,125 households holding financial assets in excess of $100m.
One in 25,000 UK households is now worth more than $100m, says BCG’s report, which does not include non-financial assets. If property were included, the number would dramatically increase.
Anna Zakrzewski, one of the report’s authors, said: “You have the oligarchs and also a lot of ultra high net worth families relocating to the UK from Middle East India, east Europe.”
In Singapore 17.1 per cent of all households are worth more than $1m, while 11 out of 100,000 households in Switzerland are worth $100m or more.
Zakrzewski said a “tectonic shift” will see Asia overtake Europe in terms of total wealth within five years. “The new world economies have grown by 10 per cent, while the old world lost 1 per cent,” she said. “The key drivers are the humongous GDP growth (in fast-developing countries), which is three times that in the old world; lots of exports; and a lot higher investment in Asia.”She predicted China will be the third richest nation in terms of private wealth within five years, and India will jump to seventh.
The world’s richest people are also getting richer faster than everyone else. While the world’s total privately held wealth increased by 1.8 per cent to $122.8tn last year, UHNWs’ wealth increased by 3.6 per cent to $7.1tn. The report predicts that UNHWs’ wealth will rise to $10.3m, or 6.8 per cent of the world’s total wealth, by 2016.
The amount of money held offshore, which often attracts a much lower tax rate, increased by 2.7 per cent to $7.8tn.
“The increase was driven partly by a flight to safe havens by investors in politically unstable countries, and partly by inflows from UHNW families based in rapidly developing economies.
“Still, offshore wealth management as an industry remains under intense and increasing pressure owing to greater regulatory scrutiny — particularly from tax authorities in the United States and western Europe,” the report said.
By arrangement with the Guardian