labels: economy - general
India ''s millionaire club swells to over 100,000 in 2006: studynews
29 June 2007

Mumbai: The number of high net worth Indians grew the second fastest in the world in 2006 with a 20.5-per cent rise amidst a strong performance by stocks and property markets, a study by Merrill Lynch and Capgemini showed.

The number of high net worth individuals (HNWI), with a net asset of at least $1 million, increased by 20.5 per cent to 100,015 in India last year, second only after 21.2 per cent growth in Singapore, according to the World Wealth Report released by Merrill Lynch and CapGemini.

Besides India, countries like Australia, Brazil, Canada, China , Germany, Russia , the UK and the US also have more than one lakh people with at least one million dollars in net assets, excluding their primary residence and consumables.

The number of Indian millionaires stood at about 83,000 in 2005.

China, with GDP growth of 10.5 per cent in 2006, saw a 7.8 per cent increase in HNWIs to 3,45,000, from 3,20,000 a year ago.

In the US, the HNWI population expanded by 9.4 per cent in 2006, up from 6.8 per cent in 2005, while compensating for a deceleration in HNWI growth in Canada , which fell from 7.2 per cent in 2005 to 6.9 per cent in 2006.

The HNWI population in the US grew to 2,920,000 in 2006, from 2,669,000 a year ago.

The worldwide population of HNWIs increased by 8.3 per cent to 9.5 million, while their collective wealth rose by 11.4 per cent to $37.2 trillion in 2006, it says.

The world''s wealthiest 9.5 million people - an 8.3 per cent rise in 2006 - had assets worth $37.2 trillion, it said.

The rising population of millionaires in India and the rest of Asia is pushing many global banks such as Standard Chartered, BNP Paribas and Citigroup to recruit heavily to service the fast-growing clientele, which also pays huge fees for advisory services.

"The region continued to benefit from the combined effects of strong underlying fundamentals and incremental portfolio and direct investment into Asian economies," said Pradeep Dokania, managing director at DSP Merrill Lynch.

Among the rich, real estate is one of the most favoured asset classes, the study showed.

In Asia-Pacific, 29 per cent of rich peoples'' assets was in the form of real estate, up from 16 per cent a year earlier.

While noting that the BRIC nations (Brazil , Russia, India and China) were playing increasingly important roles in the global economy, the report said that two of these four countries made their way into the list of the 10 fastest growing HNWI populations in 2006.

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India ''s millionaire club swells to over 100,000 in 2006: study