The number of high net-worth individuals (HNWIs) in the Middle East region increased by 3.6 percent in 2001 reaching an estimated 290,000 by year’s end, according to the 2002 World Wealth Report, released by the Cap Gemini Ernst & Young consultancy firm and the investment bank Merrill Lynch.
The region’s millionaires account for a mere 3.8 percent of the world’s HNWI wealth. High net-worth individuals are defined as those with financial assets of more than $1 million, excluding real estate. The combined value of these Middle Eastern millionaires’ fortune remained steady at approximately one trillion dollars.
The wealth held by HNWIs in the Middle East has increased 216 percent since 1986 and the report predicts this amount to rise to $1.6 trillion by 2006.
The number of HNWIs in Africa remained static at 40,000 and the value of their wealth was steady at $500 billion throughout 2000. About 60 percent of these HNWIs are in South Africa. The wealth held today by African HNWIs is up 166 percent since 1986.
Despite the volatile financial markets and widespread economic downturn that gripped many countries during the year 2001, some 200,000 people around the world joined the ranks of HNWIs. This almost three percent increase takes the number of HNWIs to 7.1 million people around the globe, according to the report.
The report found their combined wealth rose approximately three percent to an estimated $26.2 trillion. "This rise is the slowest wealth growth reported in the World Wealth Report since it was first published in 1997," said Kelly Martin, president of Merrill Lynch's International Private Client group.
"However, given the extremely difficult financial market conditions, this growth highlights the underlying strength of this market segment."
The wealth of ultra-high-net-worth individuals (Ultra-HNWIs) also increased three percent to an estimated $8.37 trillion. The number of UHNWIs rose 2.6 percent to just over 57,000 people at the end of last year.
Ultra-HNWIs have financial assets of more than $30 million. The number of HNWIs in North America rose 1.8 percent to 2.22 million individuals over the past year. The value of their combined wealth grew 1.7 percent to $7.6 trillion.
North American HNWIs accounted for 29 percent of global HNWI wealth in 2001. Their wealth has grown 313 percent since 1986, and is forecast to rise to $11.2 trillion by the end of 2006.
HNWI wealth in Latin America jumped eight percent to an estimated $3.5 trillion. The number of millionaires in Latin America stands at an estimated 280,000 people, up 12 percent on the previous year, demonstrating the growth of some of this region's economies and their ability to generate wealth. Their wealth has grown 275 percent since 1986 and is forecast to rise to $5.1 trillion by the end of 2006.
The number of HNWIs in Western, Central, and Eastern Europe remained steady at 2.54 million people in 2001. Their combined wealth was also steady at $8.4 trillion. European HNWIs account for 32 percent of global HNWI wealth. Their wealth has grown 440 percent since 1986 and is forecast to rise to $12.3 trillion by the end of 2006.
Asian high net worth individuals increased their wealth by 7.1 percent in 2001, the report said. They currently hold 20 percent of the global HNWI wealth. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )