Buoyed by robust returns from equities and real-estate investments, high foreign inflows and a booming economy, India is now the world’s second-fastest producer of freshly minted dollar millionaires, marginally behind Singapore.
According to the World Wealth Report released on Thursday by global investment bank Merrill Lynch and consultancy major Capgemini, there were over 100,000 dollar millionaires in India in 2006. At 100,015, the number was up 20.5 per cent over 2005 — the second fastest growth in the world behind Singapore’s 21.2.
‘Dollar millionaires’ are people with net wealth more than $1 million, excluding the value of primary residence and consumables. The combined wealth of these Indians is $100 billion, a third of which is enough to wipe out India’s $33-billion fiscal deficit, making the economy debt-free.
The burgeoning ‘rich list’ has lured a number of domestic and foreign players to set up specialised private-banking arms to tap into their wealth. “It indicates growth in the Indian economy. As people create more wealth, it will percolate down,” said industrialist and former CII chief Adi Godrej.
Pradeep Dokania, managing director at DSP Merrill Lynch, said: “It is a reflection of robust growth of the Indian economy and that the fruits of growth are permeating to various sections of the population.”