World Economy

Ranks of Millionaires, Billionaires Expanding Faster

Ranks of Millionaires, Billionaires Expanding FasterRanks of Millionaires, Billionaires Expanding Faster

Rich Asians got richer faster than anyone else in the world last year.

Wealth assets held by high-net-worth individuals in the Asia-Pacific region jumped almost 15% to $21.6 trillion in 2017, according to a Capgemini report released on Tuesday. Accelerating economic growth and equity market rallies helped push the global total to a record $70.2 trillion, the World Wealth Report showed, Bloomberg reported.

The rising number of millionaires in Asia is prompting financial firms from Credit Suisse Group to DBS Group Holdings to expand private banking operations throughout the region. While Japan and China contributed the bulk of Asia’s wealth last year, India topped the global chart when it came to the growth rate.

“Emerging markets in Asia, such as China and India, are going to be the engine of growth,” said David Wilson, the consulting firm’s head of Asia wealth management.

Meanwhile, the rich are getting much richer and doing so a lot faster. Personal wealth around the globe reached $201.9 trillion last year, a 12% gain from 2016 and the strongest annual pace in the past five years, according to a new Boston Consulting Group report.

The growing ranks of millionaires and billionaires now hold almost half of global personal wealth, up from just under 45% in 2012, according to the report.

Last year’s big winner was China, which now ranks second globally in terms of financial wealth after overtaking Japan in the past five years. While China trails only the US in the number of millionaires and billionaires, the biggest driver of growth in the Asian country was its so-called affluent segment, or those with $250,000 to $1 million of investable assets.

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