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Sat 15 Sep 2018 11:31 AM

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Number of ultra-wealthy in Middle East to rise 28% by 2022

Asia will surpass North America in the number of individuals with over $500 million in net assets, according to a new report from Knight Frank

Number of ultra-wealthy in Middle East to rise 28% by 2022

The number of demi-billionaires – those with $500 million or more in net assets – in the Middle East will rise by more than a quarter, according to real estate consultancy Knight Frank.

Its half-year update of the Wealth Report, which analyses ultra-high net worth individuals around the world, estimated that Middle East-based demi-billionaires in the Middle East will rise 28 percent to approximately 500, up from 390 in 2017.

In Saudi Arabia alone, the demi-billionaire population is expected to rise 17 percent by 2022, to approximately 140.

The report predicts that in four years there will be more demi-billionaires in Asia – 2,940 – than in North America, 2,830.

In 2017, North America had 2,100 demi-billionaires, compared to 1,890 in Asia.

The report noted that despite global challenges, such as the increasingly tense discussions on trade between the US and China, the spectre of Brexit and generally rising interest rates, the number of ultra-wealthy individuals has stabilised.

“It is too early to say how UHNWIs will react to the political events of 201 so far, but our data shows that they tend to take a longer view,” Winston Chesterfield, director of custom research at Wealth-X is quoted as saying in the report.

“The vast majority of UNHWIs are entrepreneurs, and, as such, have dealt with adverse business conditions before. As a result, they are prepared to take a more balanced view in periods of uncertainty or ambiguity.”

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