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Middle East's wealth growth outpaces world in 2011: report

06-21-2012 07:31 BJT

DUBAI, June 20 (Xinhua) -- The number of high net worth individuals (HNWI) in the Middle East rose the most compared to other world regions last year, the Capgemini RBC World Wealth Report 2012 published on Wednesday said.

According to the report's 16th edition, in 2011 the Middle East saw the size of its HNWI population rising by 2.7 percent year-on- year to reach 450,000 people. Their combined wealth edged up 0.7 percent to 1.7 trillion U.S. dollars.

OIL PRICE RALLY FUELLED REGION

The Middle East not only outpaced HNWI growth in all other regions, but also global HNWI growth, which advanced only marginally by 0.8 percent to 11.0 million in 2011. Global HNWIs' aggregate investable wealth, as measured by asset values, declined 1.7 percent to reach 42 trillion dollars. A HNWI defines a person whose combined assets of money, funds, property, jewelry and arts are worth at least one million dollars.

The report noted that constant high oil prices due to geopolitical tensions helped the Middle East's wealth to rise.

"Crude prices may rise further in 2012, as Mideast tensions remain, including the standoff surrounding Iran's nuclear ambitions, and persistent turmoil in Syria," the report said, which was compiled and published by global consultancy Capgemini and Canada's RBC Wealth Management.

ASIA-PACIFIC TOPPED NORTH AMERICA

Asia-Pacific was the only region which was hard on the heels of the Middle East's "happy few." The number of HNWIs in Asia-Pacific advanced last year by 1.6 percent to 3.37 million, though the investable wealth of Asia-Pacific HNWIs declined by 1.1 percent to 10.7 trillion dollars.

In relation to the number of HNWIs, Asia-Pacific surpassed North America for the first time. However, North America's 3.35 million HNWIs still accounted for the largest regional share of HNWI investable wealth - at 11.4 trillion dollars, but that was down by 2.3 percent from 2010 due to sluggish economic recovery.

EUROPE, LATIN AMERICA FACED HEADWINDS

The number of HNWIs in Europe rose by 1.1 percent to 3.17 million, "due to the growing numbers of HNWIs in key markets such as Russia, the Netherlands, and Switzerland," the report said. However, the aggregate wealth of European HNWIs fell by 1.1 percent to 10.1 trillion dollars, "as Euro zone jitters made HNWIs there more cautious and risk-averse in their investing strategies. "

In Latin America, HNWI wealth slipped 2.9 percent, though the HNWI population grew modestly, by 5.4 percent.

Editor:Wang Chuhan |Source: Xinhua

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