Wednesday, June 21, 2006

New elite of super-rich in developing nations

The Hindu : Opinion / News Analysis : New elite of super-rich in developing nations: " A report published on Tuesday (June 20) shows that the number of "high net-worth individuals" (HNWI) increased by 21 per cent in South Korea, 19 per cent in India, and 17 per cent in Russia over the past year. These dramatic increases in individual wealth were largely as a result of booming stock markets — the Dow Jones South Korea Index gained 55 per cent in 2005, for example.

The World Wealth Report, published annually by the investment bank Merrill Lynch and the consultancy firm Capgemini, examines the growth and spread of individuals around the world who have liquid assets of more than $1million, excluding their primary residence and consumables. At the end of 2005, it said, there were 8.7 million HNWIs worldwide — 6.5 per cent more than a year before. Their wealth had grown by 8 per cent to $33 trillion.

There was an even bigger jump in the number of "ultra high net-worth individuals" — those with financial assets of more than $30 million. This exclusive club now has 85,400 members worldwide, an increase of more than 10 per cent. Together, these individuals, who represent 1 per cent of the richest 1 per cent in the world, control 24 per cent of global wealth.

In Britain, the growth in the wealthy population was modest compared with the developing world. The number of HNWIs grew by 7 per cent to just under 450,000, compared with a jump of nearly 9 per cent in 2004. The authors of the report say this was probably because of a slowdown in the growth of the U.K.'s gross domestic product and a weaker stock market performance.

However, the rise in the number of rich individuals in Britain remained above the rate of GDP growth and compared well with that of other western European countries, such as France and Germany, reflecting the attractiveness of the U.K. as a home for the European rich. Overall in Europe, there was a 4.5 per cent increase in the number of HNWIs, compared with 6.8 per cent in the U.S. Despite slowing GDP growth, eastern European countries, such as the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland, also saw sharp increases in the number of HNWIs on the back of surges in the values of stocks in those countries. — © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2006"

No comments: