- Tech & Gadgets
- BRW. lounge
Published 20 June 2012 08:24, Updated 21 June 2012 03:56
Largest high net worth populations by country in 2011 (in thousands). Source: World Wealth Report 2012
The number of millionaires in the Asia-Pacific region has overtaken North America for the first time, but before the region gets too cocky, it should be noted North America’s wealthy still control vastly more money than any other region’s rich.
According to Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management’s World Wealth Report 2012, the Asia-Pacific region has more than 3.37 million people with $1 million in the bank, compared to 3.35 million in North America.
But, North America’s rich controlled a titanic $US11.4 trillion in 2011, versus $US10.7 trillion for Asia-Pacific rich. The number of millionaires in traditional strongholds for the wealthy US, Japan and Germany also continue to account for more than half of the world’s rich.
The report, which was released as G20 leaders meeting in Los Cabos reputedly mulled a €750 billion bailout for Spain and Italy, suggests that Europe is top of mind not just for politicians but for the wealthy too.
According to the study, the wealth of the world’s rich took a hit in 2011 courtesy of the euro zone crisis, with the combined worth of people surveyed falling 1.7 per cent on 2010 to $US42 trillion.
“Europe will be top of mind for investors, as repeated flare-ups [in the euro zone] are likely to keep markets on edge,” Capgemini corporate vice president Jean Lassignardie said.
“Additional drivers such as the economic performance in China, mature market headwinds, global political leadership changes and policy decisions will all play key roles in determining whether 2012 drives increases.”
The report classifies millionaires as individuals who have at least $US1 million in funds to invest and finds that there are roughly 9.9 million people with between $US1 million and $US5 million at their disposal, up 1.1 per cent on the previous survey.
The number of people with more than $US30 million at their disposal in 2011 dropped 2.5 per cent to about 100,000, with the combined worth of these individuals falling close to 5 per cent.
Regions that were particularly hard included India.
“Also hard hit in 2011 were ... Singapore and Poland, which both suffered the direct effects of the eurozone crisis. Singapore saw a drop in exports, and Poland in foreign investment,” the report finds
The Guardian cited RBC wealth management group head George Lewis as saying, “The aggregate wealth of high net worth individuals declined overall, as market volatility took its toll.
“It is significant that for the first time this year there are now more high net worth individuals in Asia-Pacific than in any other region. However, losses in key markets such as Hong Kong and India meant that wealth contracted in Asia-Pacific overall.”
In Australia there were more than 180,000 with $US1 million or more on hand for investing, according to the report.