Rich get even richer in third world
Booming markets have been kind to millionaires - most of all in poorer countries
Wednesday June 21, 2006
Developing countries are experiencing a rapid emergence of a new elite of super-rich individuals as their economies expand and mature.
A report published yesterday shows that the number of "high net-worth individuals" (HNWI) increased by 21% in South Korea, 19% in India and 17% 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% 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 $1m (£540,000), excluding their primary residence and consumables. At the end of 2005, it said, there were 8.7 million HNWIs worldwide - 6.5% more than a year before. Their wealth had grown by 8% 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 $30m. This exclusive club now has 85,400 members worldwide, an increase of more than 10%. Together, these individuals, who represent 1% of the richest 1% in the world, control 24% of global wealth.