Global downturn doesn't dent the number of millionaires thriving in the region
Three of the six densest millionaire populations in the world are in the Middle East, a new global wealth report has revealed.
While Singapore had the highest density of millionaires at 8.5 percent of the population, Kuwait (5.1 percent), the UAE (4.5 percent) and Qatar were also among the top nations, the report The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) showed.
Other countries included Switzerland, at 6.6 percent and the United States, at 3.5 percent.
Global wealth fell from $104.7 trillion in 2007, measured in assets under management (AuM), to $92.4 trillion in 2008 - a decline of 11.7 percent. It was the first decline since 2001, the report added.
The steepest decline was in North America, where wealth plummeted by 21.8 percent last year. The share of wealth held in equities fell from 50 percent in 2007 to 38 percent in 2008 but the region still had the highest proportion of wealth held in equities.
The number of millionaire households worldwide fell from 11 million to about 9 million - a drop of 17.8 percent.
The report also showed that the global crisis had narrowed the gap between the wealthy and non-wealthy.
"Wealth will begin a slow recovery in 2010 but may not reach its precrisis level until 2013," said Peter Damisch, a BCG partner and a coauthor of the report.
"We expect wealth to grow at an average annual rate of about 4 percent from year-end 2008 through 2013." Wealth will grow fastest in Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) at 9.5 percent per year over the same period, he added.