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World’s millionaires rose by 8.3% last year, Merrill Lynch says

Global millionaires’ ranks rose by 8.3 percent last year as the Asia-Pacific region overtook Europe for the first time, according to a report by Capgemini SA and Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management.

The number of individuals with at least $1 million of investable assets increased to 10.9 million after markets rebounded following the financial crisis, according to the 15th annual World Wealth Report published today. Global wealth held by millionaires rose to $42.7 trillion, exceeding the $40.7 trillion reported for 2007.

Millionaires in the Asia-Pacific region jumped 9.7 percent to 3.3 million with the numbers in Hong Kong and Vietnam both climbing by about a third, the report showed. That compares with growth of 6.3 percent to 3.1 million in Europe and 8.6 percent to 3.4 million in North America.

“Regionally, Asia-Pacific was the real star of the growth story,” John Thiel, head of U.S. wealth management for Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management, said at a press briefing in New York today. Stock-market returns and increases in the value of real estate in the region were major contributors, he said.

Global equity market capitalization rose 18 percent in 2010, the report said. The MSCI AC World Index, which tracks global stocks in developed and emerging markets, returned 13 percent in 2010 and the MSCI Asia Pacific Index returned 17 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Millionaire fragmentation

Africa showed the biggest increase in millionaires by region with growth of 11.1 percent, while India entered the top 12 country rankings for the first time, with 153,000. The number of millionaires in China grew by 12 percent to 534,500. China ranked fourth in the number of millionaires trailing the U.S., Japan and Germany.

About 53 percent of the world’s millionaires, or individuals with at least $1 million in investable assets excluding primary residences and collectibles, are found in the U.S., Japan and Germany, the report showed.

“While over half of the global high-net-worth individuals still resides in the top three countries, the concentration is fragmenting,” said Herbert Hensle, vice president and head of Capgemini’s Swiss office.

The number of millionaires in Switzerland increased by 9.7 percent last year, supported by the Alpine nation’s strong economy and real-estate market, the report said.

Swiss franc

“Even though the Swiss franc went higher, the exports of companies here have been very successful,” Peter Schmid, chief executive officer and general manager of Merrill Lynch’s Swiss private bank, said in an interview in Zurich. The Swiss currency advanced 11 percent against the dollar in 2010, according to Bloomberg data.

Global ranks of ultra-high-net-worth individuals, defined as those with $30 million or greater of investable assets, increased at a faster pace than millionaires, rising 10 percent.

Growth in the number of global millionaires slowed from 17 percent in 2009, when wealth rebounded following the credit crisis that sent stock indexes to their worst annual losses since the Great Depression and slashed the value of real-estate holdings, hedge-fund and private-equity investments.

The investment mentality of millionaires has changed as they search for increasing returns, the report said. Wealthy individuals are allocating a higher proportion of money to riskier assets, including commodities, and also made profits from emerging-market stocks and bonds.

Singapore millionaires

On May 31, the Boston Consulting Group said the number of millionaire households increased 12 percent to about 12.5 million. Singapore’s millionaire population expanded the fastest, rising by almost 33 percent, while the U.S. had the most $1 million-plus households, with 5.2 million, followed by Japan and China, the Boston study found, which differs from the Merrill report. Singapore also had the highest proportion of millionaire households at 15.5 percent, followed by Switzerland and Qatar.

Singapore will displace Switzerland as the world’s top wealth-management center by 2013, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP survey of global wealth-management firms released earlier this week. The firms said they expect to increase their client base among international entrepreneurs and to decrease their base among clients with less than $1 million in assets over the next two years, the study said.

Women gain

Women and young millionaires account for an increasing portion of the world’s rich, Merrill’s World Wealth Report found. About 27 percent of global millionaires were women in 2010, compared with 24 percent in 2008. About 17 percent of millionaires were age 45 or younger compared with 13 percent in 2008, the report said.

Paris-based Capgemini and Merrill Lynch, a subsidiary of Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America Corp. (BAC), compiled data from 71 countries representing 98 percent of the world’s gross national income.


<한글 기사> 

아시아내 백만장자수는 몇명?

세계 백만장자 작년 8.3%↑..亞, 첫 유럽 추월

자산 3천만달러 이상 초부유층도 전년비 10% 증가

지난해 전세계적으로 백만장자가 전년에 비해 8.3% 늘어난 가운데 아시아의 백만장자 수가 처음으로 유럽을 넘어선 것으로 조사 됐다. 

글로벌 투자은행인 메릴린치와 컨설팅회사 캡제미니가 22일(현지시각) 발표한 '연례 세계 부(富) 보고서(World Wealth Report)'에 따르면 지난해 아시아•태평양 지역의 백만장자 수는 전년보다 9.7% 늘어난 330만명을 기록, 6.3% 증가한 유럽(310 만명)을 앞질렀다.

이는 북미 지역(340만명)에 이어 세계에서 두 번째로 많은 것으로, 아시아의 백만장자 수가 유럽을 추월한 것은 이번이 처음이다.

백만장자들의 총자산도 아시아가 10조8천억 달러로 유럽(10조2천억 달러)보다 많았으며, 미국과 캐나다(11조6천억 달러)의 뒤를 바짝 쫓아 몇년 후에는 북미지역도 앞설 것으로 예상되고 있다.

이같은 결과는 아시아•태평양 지역에서 국민총소득(GNI)과 같은 거시경제지표가 탄탄한 상태를 유지했고 주식시장 등 부를 추동하는 핵심요인들이 강세를 보인데 따른 것으로 분석됐다.

금융위기 이후 시장이 회복되면서 전세계적으로도 백만장자가 전년 대비 8.3% 늘어난 1천90만명을 기록했다. 인도의 백만장자 수도 처음으로 세계 12위권 내에 진입했다.

자산이 3천만 달러 이상인 초부유층의 수는 전년보다 10% 증가한 10만3천명이었으며, 이들의 총자산 규모는 15조 달러에 달했다.

메릴린치와 캡제미니는 백만장자들이 더욱 높은 수익을 추구하면서 투자심리가 원자재 등 위험자산에 더 많이 투자하는 쪽으로 바뀌었으며 신흥시장의 주식과 채권 에서 수익을 내고 있다고 밝혔다.

이와 함께 예술품과 시계, 희귀 포도주, 빈티지 자동차, 보트를 비롯한 색다른 투자처에 대한 수요가 늘어났다고 밝혔다.

이는 이자율은 낮고 주식시장은 급변하는 상황에서 세계 금융시장과의 상관성이 적은 자산을 구입, 시장 급변에 따른 위험을 피하고 투자처를 다양화하려는 심리에 기인한 것으로 분석됐다.

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