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S. Korea’s number of ultra-high net worth individuals up 6.3%

South Korea marked the eighth-highest rate of growth in the number of individuals with ultrahigh net worth, recent data compiled by a global property consultancy showed Sunday.

The number of ultrawealthy people in Korea -- those with net assets worth $30 million or more -- increased by 6.3 percent on-year to 7,354 in 2020, according to the annual wealth report released by Knight Frank.

The number of people around the globe at the same standard of net wealth rose by 2.4 percent on-year to 521,653 last year. But that was only one-third the level of growth seen in the previous year’s report.

Of all the world’s regions, Asia saw the largest rise in the number of ultrarich individuals with an 11.6 percent growth rate, followed by Oceania with 9.9 percent. Conversely, the number of ultrarich people declined by 20.7 percent in the area comprising Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Latin America came next with a 13.5 percent fall, while the Middle East recorded a 10.1 percent decline.

Among the 44 major nations, China topped the index with 15.8 percent growth. Sweden and Singapore followed with 11.3 percent and 10.2 percent, respectively. Korea was No. 8 on the list, with a 6.3 percent growth rate. But Spain and France logged declines of 13.5 percent and 9.4 percent, respectively.

The country that saw the biggest increase in the population of those with $30 million or more in net assets was the US, where their total number came to 180,060. It was followed by China with 70,426 and Germany with 28,396. Korea came in 11th place with 7,354.

Morocco had the highest wealth threshold to join the richest 1 percent, at $7.9 million. Switzerland and the US required $5.1 million and $4.4 million, respectively, to be among the superrich. Singapore was Asia’s highest entry with $2.9 million, while Korea’s top 1 percent threshold was $1.2 million.

Meanwhile, Knight Frank forecast that the number of superrich people around the world will likely grow by 27 percent between 2020 and 2025, taking the total population to 663,483. Asia will see the highest growth rate of 39 percent, led by Indonesia and India, the consultancy predicted.

“The US is, and will remain, the world’s dominant wealth hub over our forecast period but Asia will see the fastest growth in ultra-high net worth individuals over the next five years, 39 percent compared to the 27 percent global average,” Liam Bailey, global head of research at Knight Frank, wrote in the report.

“By 2025, Asia will host 24 percent of all ultra-high net worth individuals, up from 17 percent a decade earlier. The region is already home to more billionaires than any other,” with 36 percent of the global total, he wrote.

By Jie Ye-eun (