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Worldwide Private Wealth Up Sharply, Group Says

May 30, 2013
man walking on money

Despite difficult economic times in many parts of the world, private wealth grew in 2012 by 7.8 percent and the number of millionaires in the world grew to 13.8 million, a US consulting firm said Thursday.

The 7.8-per-cent increase in privately held wealth brought to 135.5 trillion dollars the amount of money held privately in 2012, Boston Consulting Group said.

The percentage increase was greater than it was in 2011 when it stood at 3.6 per cent and 2010 when it was 7.3 per cent, Boston Consulting said in its yearly global wealth study.

Private wealth increased in North America at the same rate of 7.8 per cent. The increase in Western Europe was 5.2 per cent and in Japan it rose 2.4 per cent. The increases were mainly owing to the sharp rebound in equity markets in most countries, particularly in the second half of the year, the consulting group said.

However, new wealth creation fueled double-digit growth in the Asia-Pacific region excluding Japan, where it was up 13.8 per cent, Eastern Europe, where it was up 13.2 per cent, and Latin America, where it was up 10.5 per cent. Wealth in the Middle East and Africa saw near-double-digit growth of 9.1 per cent.

Boston Consulting predicted that those regions would account for nearly 70 per cent of the growth in global private wealth over the next five years.

The survey also showed that the total number of millionaire households reached 13.8 million globally in 2012, or 0.9 per cent of all households. The US had the largest number of millionaire households with 5.9 million, followed by Japan with 1.5 million and China with 1.3 million. The number of millionaires in China is expected to surpass the number in Japan in 2013.

The highest density of millionaires was in Qatar, where 143 out of every 1,000 households have private wealth of at least 1 million dollars, followed by Switzerland with 116 millionaires out of every 1,000, Kuwait at 115, Hong Kong at 94 and Singapore at 82.

The US had the largest number of billionaires in 2012, but the highest density of billionaire households was in Hong Kong - 15.1 per million, followed by Switzerland 9.4 per million.

The study is Boston Consulting's 13th annual look at the global wealth-management industry.

Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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