India records 2nd highest growth of millionaires in 2012

India records 2nd highest growth of millionaires in 2012 New Delhi: The world is home to 1.2 crore millionaires with collective net worth reaching a record high of USD 46.2 trillions, with India clocking the second highest growth of 22.2 percent in its HNI population last year after Hong Kong, a report said on Wednesday.

According to the World Wealth Report 2013, released by Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management, the investable wealth of the world's High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) rebounded in 2012, growing by 10 percent to reach a record high of USD 46.2 trillion, after declining 1.7 percent in 2011.

As many as one million individuals joined the global HNWI population, which reached 12 million, reflecting an increase of 9.2 percent.

"HNWI population increases were strong in 2012. However, North America's lead in both population and wealth is likely to be eclipsed again in the future by Asia-Pacific," Capgemini Global Financial Services Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Jean Lassignardie said.

In 2012 North America's population of 3.73 million HNWIs surpassed Asia-Pacific's 3.68 million, while its HNWI wealth reached USD 12.7 trillion, above the USD 12.0 trillion in the Asia-Pacific.

However, in terms of overall wealth growth rate ,Asia -Pacific actually had a higher rate at 12.2 percent, compared to North America's 11.7 percent.

Among the Asia Pacific countries, Hong Kong experienced a 35.7 percent increase in its HNWIs population, followed by India, with 22.2 percent growth.

The growth in number of HNWIs in India was attributed to positive trends in equity market capitalisation, gross national income, consumption and real estate.

In Asia-Pacific, equity markets responded well to aggressive monetary policy moves. In India, reform measures and monetary easing helped equity markets gain by 23.9 percent, while strong exports in South Korea partly contributed to a 20.2 percent gain there.

Going forward the future outlook looks cautiously upbeat, led by Asia-Pacific.

According to the report, global HNWI wealth is forecast to grow by 6.5 percent annually over the next three years with the Asia-Pacific region projected to grow at one and a half times the global average at 9.8 percent and is expected to lead global growth.

"Despite a marked focus on capital preservation and high cash allocations, high net worth individuals achieved a record level of wealth in 2012, suggesting further growth lies ahead if trust and confidence in the markets increase further," said M George Lewis, Group Head, RBC Wealth Management & RBC Insurance.

Meanwhile, according to the report, art market continued its recovery with strong growth in emerging markets especially China, Brazil and UAE.

But the same cannot be said about India as it is still at an earlier, more nascent stage in terms of art buying, with HNWIs not yet allocating much of their portfolio into art compared to other emerging markets, the report said.

PTI