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Thu 3 Mar 2016 01:45 PM

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MidEast's ultra-wealthy forecast to rise by 54% to 2025

New report says region's population with $30m or more in assets will grow from 8,910 to 13,763

MidEast's ultra-wealthy forecast to rise by 54% to 2025

The number of ultra high net worth individuals (UHNWIs) - those with $30 million or more in net assets - is forecast to rise by 54 percent in the Middle East over the next decade.

The Knight Frank Wealth Report, using data provided by New World Wealth, showed that the region witnessed a 89 percent increase in UHNWIs over the previous decade from 4,712 in 2005 to 8,910 last year.

The report said this figure is likely to rise to 13,763 by 2025 out of a global figure of 263,483.

The number of UHNWIs declined by 3 percent last year and there are now around 187,500 around the world, down from 193,100 in 2014. 

However this still marks a 61 percent rise from a global UHNWI population of 116,800 in 2005.  

While the global population of UHNWIs is set to rise by 41% to 263,500 by 2025, growth is set to be significantly slower than the previous 10 years, the report said. 

Gráinne Gilmore, head of UK residential research, Knight Frank, said: “Despite longer term growth, data from 2015 shows the first annual dip in the global ultra-wealthy population since the financial crisis. Last year, only 34 out of the 91 countries for which individual data is compiled saw a rise in the number of UHNWIs.”

The downward shift in 2015 reflects slower economic growth and the more volatile financial climate, including the continued fall in oil prices. Currency movements have also exacerbated any declines in local currency wealth for many UHNWIs when their net worth is expressed in dollar terms.

Andrew Amoils, head of research at New World Wealth, added: “2015 was a poor year for global UHNWIs. This was mainly due to a fall in equity markets in US dollar terms. New business formation also slowed, especially in Europe and Latin America.

"Africa's poor performance over the past year reflects declining commodity prices and a loss of business confidence in big African markets such as South Africa, Nigeria and Egypt."

By region, North America is home to the highest number of UHNWIs, with around 69,300 people with $30 million or more in net assets, Europe follows with 46,200. Asia remains in third position with a UHNWI population of 41,100.

However, this balance is expected to change over the next decade, with forecasts showing that Asia will overtake Europe as the second biggest hub for UHNWIs by 2025.

The Wealth Report also said there are currently 13 million millionaires across the globe, up from 8.7 million in 2005.

More than 1 million new millionaires are due to be created in the next decade in each of these regions – Asia (+1.6m), North America (+1.4m) and Europe (+1m) while the global millionaire population currently hold net assets worth $66 trillion, according to New World Wealth.

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