Mukesh Ambani, the richest Indian
ASIA-PACIFIC millionaires are collectively worth more than their European counterparts for the first time, with the rich in China and India leading the way, a study said today.
More millionaires are expected to be minted in a region that has produced some of the world’s richest people, including India’s Mukesh Ambani and Hong Kong’s Li Ka-shing, as Asia leads the recovery from the global recession.
The report on high-net worth individuals (HNWIs) - defined as anyone with investible assets of at least $1m (£672,076) - was issued by Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management and consultancy firm Capgemini.
The world’s population of HNWIs returned to 10 million in 2009 after the global slump, with the largest concentrations still found in the US, Japan and Germany.
“The Asia-Pacific HNWI population rose 25.8 per cent overall to three million, catching up with Europe for the first time, after falling 14.2 per cent in 2008,” the World Wealth Report said.
They saw their total wealth grow nearly a third to $9.7 trillions (£6.5 trillions), more than erasing 2008 losses and surpassing the $9.5 trillion (£6.3 trillion) held by their European counterparts, it said.
The super-rich, or those with investible assets of $30m (£20m) or more, represented only 0.9 per cent of the global HNWI population, but accounted for more than a third of the wealth, the report said.
These “ultra-HNWI’s” raised their collective wealth by 21.5 per cent, after seeing an aggregate decline of 24 per cent in 2008.
North America had the highest concentration of mega-rich individuals with over 36,000, compared with Europe’s 20,700 and 19,600 from the Asia-Pacific region.
In 2009, eight of the 10 economies with the highest growth in HNWI population were from the Asia-Pacific region, led by Hong Kong where their numbers doubled as the stock exchange climbed 73.5 per cent, the report said.
The other Asia-Pacific economies on the global top 10 growth list were India, Taiwan, Australia, Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam, in that order.
Ten of Asia’s top 25 billionaires are from India, led by oil and gas tycoon Ambani with an estimated wealth of $29bn (£19.4bn) and steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal with $28.7bn (£19.2bn).
Mainland China has only one - beverage king Zong Qinghou, who is worth $7bn (£4.7bn). But overall, it leads Asia with 64 billionaires.
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