In 2000, the Rich Kept Getting Richer
The wealth of the world's wealthiest people
rose 6 percent in 2000, despite drops in most stock markets, according
to the World Wealth Report 2001, published by Merrill Lynch International
& Co. and Cap Gemini SA's Cap Gemini Ernst & Young unit.
The number of high net-worth individuals
around the world, those with assets of at least $1 million excluding
real estate, grew by 2.9 percent, or 180,000, to 7.2 million people
Those with financial assets of more than
$30 million increased 6 percent to $8 trillion. The number of superrich
rose 3 percent, to an estimated 57,000 people at the end of last
Christopher Humphrey, Cap Gemini Ernst &
Young's president, said while the 6 percent growth in wealth in
2000 was down from the 18 percent increase in 1999, the combined
wealth of all high net-worth individuals has tripled since 1986.
He added, "The World Wealth Report 2001
forecast growth of 8 percent a year for the high net-worth market
over the next five years".
Europe posted the strongest growth in the
number of wealthy individuals last year. The number of dollar millionaires
in Europe grew 6 percent to 2.3 million. The value of their assets
increased 7.5 percent to $7.2 trillion, a 26 percent share of worldwide
high net-worth wealth.
According to the report, initially buoyant
European bourses accounted for most of this rise. In addition, the
average European millionaire had relatively low exposure to U.S.
and Japanese equities.
By 2006, European millionaires are expected
to own $10 trillion worth of assets.
The Middle East posted the strongest growth
in the value of high net-worth wealth last year. There were an estimated
220,000 millionaires in the Middle East at the end of 2000, and
the combined value of their wealth grew 18 percent, to $1.3 trillion,
over the year. Five years from now, the total is projected to be
Asia was the only region to post a decline
in high net-worth wealth last year, dropping 9 percent. But the
wealth held by Asian millionaires has increased by about 600 percent
IHT, June 16-17, 2001