Free Press Journal

‘India home to 2,080 uber-rich with wealth over $50 mn’


New Delhi: There are 2,080 ultra high net worth individuals in India with wealth of over USD 50 million, and the number of dollar millionaires in the country is projected to touch 3,05,000 in the next five years, says Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report. Wealth measured in domestic terms has grown rapidly in India since 2000 except during global financial crisis, the report said.

“India now has 2,083 ultra-high-net-worth individuals with more than USD 50 million net wealth, 3 per cent higher than 2014. It has 2,54,000 members of the top 1 per cent of global wealth holders,” Credit Suisse said, adding “we estimate that 2,080 adults have wealth over USD 50 million and 940 people own more than USD 100 million.”

Moreover, at the top of the wealth pyramid, the number of USD millionaires in India is projected to rise by 65 per cent in the next five years to reach 3,05,000 in 2020, compared to the current 1,85,000.

The report, however, noted that while wealth has been rising strongly in India and the ranks of the middle class and wealthy have been swelling, not everyone has shared this growth and there is still a great deal of poverty. “This is reflected in the fact that 95 per cent of the adult population has wealth below USD 10,000. At the other end of the scale, a very small proportion of the population (just 0.3 per cent) has a net worth over USD 100,000,” it said.

However, due to India’s large population, this 0.3 per cent of population translates into a whopping 2.4 million people. Meanwhile, only 3 per cent of India’s adult population falls into the middle class wealth band, but its middle class wealth has grown by 150 per cent since 2000 to USD 780 billion, representing 23 per cent of the country’s wealth.

Globally, the United States records the highest wealth gain of USD 4.6 trillion, China a significant USD 1.5 trillion and the United Kingdom a more modest USD 360 billion.

The United States (USD 85.9 trillion), China (USD 22.8 trillion) and Japan (USD 19.8 trillion) are the three countries with the largest wealth holdings globally. Meanwhile, as in many other developing countries, personal wealth in India is dominated by property and other real assets, which make up 86 per cent of household assets.

India’s total household wealth at current USD terms fell by 1 per cent from mid-2014 to mid-2015 to USD 3.4 trillion; while at domestic currency terms, it rose by 4.8 per cent, the report said.

On a wealth-per-adult basis, Switzerland remains the richest nation in the world with USD 567,100 in 2015, followed by New Zealand (USD 400,800) and Australia (USD 364,900). According to the report, there are 123,800 ultra-high net worth (UHNW) individuals worldwide, defined as those with a net worth exceeding USD 50 million.