Middle East wealthy rise 7.1pc in 2009
Manama, June 23, 2010
The total HNWI (high net worth individuals) population in the Middle East rose 7.1 per cent to 400,000, returning to 2007 levels, and their combined wealth increased 5.1 per cent to $1.5 trillion, a report said.
The 14th annual World Wealth Report by Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management and Capgemini said the world's HNWIs regained ground despite weakness in the world economy.
The world's population of HNWIs returned to 10 million last year and HNWI financial wealth increased, posting a gain of 18.9 per cent to $39 trillion.
Ultra-HNWIs increased their wealth by 21.5 per cent last year.
These figures indicate that emerging wealth recovery has nearly recouped 2008 losses, returning to levels last seen in 2007.
Last year, the number of HNWIs grew in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain but declined in the UAE.
The number of HNWIs in Bahrain stood at 5,400, up 7.2 per cent from 2008.
In contrast, the HNWI population in the UAE declined by 18.8 per cent to 54,500 due to unprecedented market conditions.
Saudi Arabia had 104,700 HNWIs at the end of last year, an increase of 14.3 per cent from the previous year.
'The last few years have been significant for wealthy investors,' said Merrill Lynch Wealth management Middle East head Amir Sadr.
'While in 2008 global HNWI wealth showed an unprecedented decline, a year later we are already seeing distinct signs of recovery, and in some areas a complete return to 2007 levels of wealth and growth.'
'The rebound has been, and will continue to be, driven by emerging markets - especially India and China, as well as Brazil,' said Capgemini Middle East Global Financial Services head of sales Yasar Yilmaz.
'In fact, Asia-Pacific was the only region in which both macroeconomic and market drivers of wealth expanded significantly in 2009.'
While the global HNWI recovery was generally stronger in developing nations, most of the world's HNWI population and wealth remained highly concentrated in the US, Japan and Germany, which together accounted for 53.5 per cent of the world's HNWI population last year, down slightly from 54 per cent in 2008.
North America remains the single largest home to HNWIs, with its 3.1 million HNWIs accounting for 31 per cent of the global HNWI population.-TradeArabia News Service