Resurgent stocks have driven up the number of high net worth individuals (HNWIs) in the country by 51 per cent since March 2009. A recent report on HNWIs — defined as persons with investible assets of at least $1 million (Rs 4.6 crore) — pegs their number in India at 1,26,000.
Or Rs 461 lakh cr: the net worth of Asian millionaires in 2009
Or Rs 451 lakh cr: the net worth of European millionaires in the same period
The World Wealth Report 2010, prepared by Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management and consultancy firm Capgemini on Wednesday, also states that the size of the HNWI population in the Asia-Pacific region is now as large as that of Europe, at 3 million.
Even as the world’s gross domestic product (GDP) shrank in 2009, the total number of HNWIs across the world rose by 17.1 per cent to touch 10 million and their aggregate wealth rose by 18.9 per cent to hit $39 trillion (India’s GDP in 2009 was about $1 trillion).
“Among Asia-Pacific markets, Hong Kong and India led the pack, rebounding from mammoth declines in their HNWI bases and wealth in 2008 (due to the on-going global recession) amid an outsized resurgence in their stock markets,” the report said. The shift in the global HNWI balance came about, as gains in Europe, while sizeable, were smaller than those in the Asia-Pacific region.
The 3 million HNWIs in the Asia-Pacific region saw their total wealth grow by nearly a third to 9.7 trillion dollars, which more than made up for their 2008 losses and surpassed the 9.5 trillion dollars held by their European counterparts. However, the largest chunk of the world’s wealthiest people is still concentrated in the US, Japan and Germany, which together account for more than half the total HNWI population at 53.5 per cent.
The report suggests that in the coming years, Brazil, Russia, India, and China (BRIC nations) will drive growth of HNWI numbers in their respective regions. China and India will continue to lead the way in Asia with their economic expansion and growth likely to outpace those of more developed economies.