x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

UAE rises to ninth place with highest density of millionaires

The UAE has risen to ninth place in the world ranking of countries with the highest density of millionaires.

Boston Consulting Group said that of every 1,000 households in the UAE, 40 hold private wealth of at least US$1 million based on last year's data. Silvia Razgova / The National
Boston Consulting Group said that of every 1,000 households in the UAE, 40 hold private wealth of at least US$1 million based on last year's data. Silvia Razgova / The National

The UAE has risen to ninth place in the world ranking of countries with the highest density of millionaires.

Of every 1,000 households, 40 hold private wealth of at least US$1 million as per 2012 data, said a report from Boston Consulting Group. In 2011, the UAE ranked 11th in its proportion of millionaire households.

When it comes to ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) households, the country ranked 15th globally. In the UAE, three out of 100,000 households fall in this category - defined as one with more than $100m in private wealth.

"This indicates that much more wealth is being created than before," said Markus Massi, partner and the managing director at BCG Middle East. Among the drivers for this trend is strong GDP growth in local economies in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, he said.

The report takes into account deposits, cash, sukuk, equity, bonds and mutual funds as wealth, and excludes property, hedge funds, private equity, consumer goods such as cars, commodities and structured products in calculating wealth.

The study analysed the private wealth of individuals in 63 countries in Europe, North America, Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Saudi Arabia still tops the world of private wealth and was not included in the listing.

Regionally, private financial wealth in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) grew to $4.8 trillion last year, the report said, which translates to an increase of 9.1 per cent from $4.4tn in the previous year.

Last year, investments in equities were more attractive with wealth held in this asset class growing by 18.3 per cent, as compared to bonds - with increases of 9.2 per cent - and cash and deposits - 5.2 per cent.

The amount of offshore wealth has decreased for UAE households, with 52 per cent of UAE's wealth outside the country for 2011, Mr Massi said.

"And the trend is going down, you would see less money invested offshore, as returns from the United Kingdom, the United States and European markets are not very high," he said.

Most of the offshore wealth was in Europe, with Switzerland being the preferred destination, he said.

 

ssahoo@thenational.ae