Credit Suisse report highlights fast growth of China's wealth

Indian household wealth grows modest 2.6% in 2018 on rupee fall

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Ultra high net worth individuals, who together hold more than $50 million in wealth, numbered about 1,000 people in mid-2018, a 1.1%increase.

Credit Suisse said Singapore's wealth per adult has increased more than 146 per cent since 2000, mainly from high savings, asset price increases and a rising exchange rate from 2005 to 2012. While the USA and China are the richest countries in the world at US$98 trillion and US$52 trillion respectively, the ranking on wealth per adult places Singapore in the ninth spot, the only Asian nation with the distinction of making it in the top ten.

The term wealth is defined as the value of financial assets (such as stocks and fixed interest instruments) plus real assets (such as property and gold) owned by the households, minus their debts.

The global wealth report says that the number of millionaires in India rose by 7,300 to 343,000.

According to the report, India may host 5.26 lakh millionaires, an increase of more than 53 percent or 8.9 percent per annum. By our estimates, 3,400 adults have wealth over $ 50 million, and 1,500 have more than $ 100 million, it said.

Globally, wealth per adult grew by 3.2 per cent to a record high $63,100 per adult. "Currency depreciation against the United States dollar continues to affect wealth trends in some of the major regional economies such as Australia and India", said John Woods, chief investment officer Asia Pacific for Credit Suisse.

Wealth inequality is a key feature in the report, which noted "that the bottom half of adults collectively owns less than 1 percent of total wealth, the richest decile (top 10 percent of adults) owns 85 percent of global wealth, and the top percentile alone accounts for nearly half of all household wealth (47 percent)".

During the 12 months to mid-2018, aggregate global wealth rose by 14.0 trillion US dollars (4.6 percent) to a combined total of 317 trillion USA dollars, outpacing population growth.

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The United States contributed most to global wealth adding 6.3 trillion USA dollar and taking its total to 98 trillion US dollars.

The composition of household wealth in Australia is heavily skewed towards non-financial assets, which averaged $US304,500 and form 60% of gross household assets.

It also said that while wealth has been rising here, not everyone has shared in this growth. The U.S.'s position as global leader in wealth growth comes despite China's surge, with UBS Group AG estimating a new billionaire is minted in China every two days and Asia now home to around a quarter of the people on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a ranking of the world's 500 richest.

Meanwhile, China has the second-largest household wealth after adding US$2.3 trillion to reach US$52 trillion.

Non-financial assets have continued their accelerated growth over the past 12 months, providing the main impetus for overall growth in all regions except North America, accounting for 75 per cent of the rise in wealth in China and Europe, and all of the rise in India.

India's tepid growth was due to the rupee weakness.

Asia-Pacific economies "continue to make significant contribution to global high net worth wealth pool, with China, Japan, Australia, Korea and Taiwan making up more than 8.8 million millionaires, representing over 20 per cent of the global total", Mr Woods said.

The number of millionaires in Singapore grew 11.2% to 183,737 people, and is expected to grow by 5.5% per annum in the next five years to reach 239,640 people.

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