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Number of rich Indians up 20% in a year

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  • Number of rich Indians up 20% in a year

    10 Oct, 2006 0050hrs TIMES NEWS NETWORK

    MUMBAI: Stock images of an India full of half-naked beggars and hungry children may soon get a quiet burial. That's because more Indians are getting richer than anybody else in the Asia-Pacific region. At the end of 2005, the number of high networth individuals (HNWI) had risen to 83,000 -- a 19.3% increase over the previous year.

    These findings were the outcome of a survey by Merrill Lynch, a global financial advisory outfit and Capgemini, an IT services and business consulting company. The survey defines HNWIs as individuals with net financial assets of at least $1 million, excluding their primary residence and consumables.

    Interestingly, almost 7% of these people are 30 years or younger. And between all of them put together, they hold $290 billion in assets, representing 3.8% of total HNWI wealth in the region.

    These findings come close on the heels of a recent report released by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) which said that India has now emerged as the fastest growing wealth creator in the world. Over the last five years, the number of millionaires being churned out of India is growing in excess of 15% each year.

    "Robust growth in the Indian economy and a booming stock market were the key wealth drivers,'' said Pradeep Dokania of DSP Merrill Lynch. "Interestingly," he added, over the last three years, "we have seen a steady rise in the number of professionals being added to the HNWI population as against entrepreneurs."

    In all the markets surveyed, most of the HNWIs were male. However, the ratio of men to women differed dramatically, depending on the maturity of the economy. Women accounted for a greater share of the HNWI population in Hong Kong (31%), Singapore (24%) and Japan (30%) than in South Korea (13%), India (17%) and China (25%).