Asia’s Millionaires Overtake Their European Counterparts

June 22, 2011Personal Financeby EW News Desk Team

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 There are now more millionaires in Asia than there are in Europe, according to the 2011 Merrill Lynch-Capgemini World Wealth Report.

Bolstered by the economic growth in China and India, the rank of Asian millionaires grew by 10 percent to 3.3 million – coming in behind North America’s 3.4 million millionaires and ahead of Europe’s 3.1 million.

Asian millionaires are also becoming increasingly wealthier. In 2011, the combined net worth of its millionaires rose by 12 percent to US$10.8 trillion, surpassing Europe’s US$10.2 trillion.

"Their capital markets may be emerging, but their economies have clearly arrived," said John Thiel, head of U.S. wealth management for Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management unit. "They're not 'emerging' anymore."

Singapore’s millionaire population was also the fastest growing in the world – rising by more than 33 percent in just one year. Accordingly Singapore had the highest proportion of millionaire households in the world at 15.5 percent, ahead of Switzerland and Qatar.

Related: Singapore Economy

According to the report, the number of Asian millionaires is expected to overtake that of the US within the next few years.

Presently, more than half of the world’s millionaires still reside in the US, Japan and Germany. However, rapid growth in manufacturing and exports in emerging economies is expected to fuel an increasing amount of millionaires in emerging economies and see a greater spread of millionaires across the globe.

“While over half of the global high-net-worth individuals still resides in the top three countries, the concentration is fragmenting,” said Herbert Hensle, vice president and head of Capgemini’s Swiss office.

Worryingly however, the report also indicated that the gap between the rich and the middle class was widening and becoming more concentrated.

Even among the millionaire club, wealth was far more concentrated than in previous years. The super-rich represented less than 1 percent of millionaires but was responsible for one third of the combined wealth.

Related: World Economy: 332 Millionaires in a Year – 29 in India

Story from Reuters

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