India, China have fastest rates of HNWI growth

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Mumbai, June 25 (UNI) India is the world's fastest-growing HNWI market with a 22.7 per cent gain to 1,23,000, followed by China which saw a 20.3 per cent increase to 4,15,000, according to the latest annual world wealth report of the Merrill Lynch and Cap Gemini.

The report said the combined wealth of the world's high net worth individuals (HNWIs) increased by 9.4 per cent to USD 40.7 trillion in 2007. The increase was largely driven by growth in market capitalization in emerging economies.

The number of HNWIs in the world rose by six per cent in 2007 to 10.1 million, while the number of ultra high net worth individuals (Ultra-HNWIs) increased by 8.8 per cent. For the first time in the history of the report, the average assets held by HNWIs exceeded USD four million.

In Asia Pacific, the HNWI population rose by 8.7 per cent from a year earlier to 2.8 million. The region's HNWIs had combined wealth of USD 9.5 trillion, an increase of 12.5 per cent. Asia was home for some of the world's fastest-growing markets by HNWI population, taking five spots out of the global top 10 for the third consecutive year.

China also surpassed France as the fifth-largest HNWI population in the world. Also included in the world's fastest-growing markets were South Korea, where the HNWI population increased by 18.9 per cent, Indonesia by 16.8 per cent and Singapore by 15.3 per cent.

In India, the number of HNWIs rose by 22.7 per cent during the year to 1,23,000. The growth was primarily led by market capitalization and real GDP growth.

''In India, wealth is being created at an unprecedented rate.

We are in the midst of a multi-year growth trajectory in terms of the number of HNWIs as also their combined wealth,'' said Pradeep Dokania, head of Global Private Client at DSP Merrill Lynch Limited in a release.

''Notwithstanding the recent dislocation in global markets, the robust economies in Asia, including India, are increasingly being driven by the domestic consumption story and continue to spur wealth creation in the region,'' he added.

Stock markets in India, China and other emerging markets enjoyed stellar performances last year. BSE and NSE had respective growth rates of 122 per cent and 115 per cent.

The report said despite heightened uncertainty regarding the near-term global outlook, fundamentals in emerging markets remain strong and were likely to sustain high levels of growth. The balance between emerging market strength and mature market recovery is likely persist through 2008, the report said.

UNI VK RN AG1848

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