New wealth in Middle East, Africa is 2nd highest globally

New report says region had among the highest density of millionaires in the world in 2014, with 44% of money newly created
New wealth in Middle East, Africa is 2nd highest globally
By Courtney Trenwith
Wed 17 Jun 2015 01:45 PM

Private wealth in the Middle East and Africa has been growing exponentially, recording the second highest proportion of newly created wealth of any region in the world, according to a Boston Consulting Group report.

The region’s wealth – based on individuals who have $1m or more - is expected to rise to $9 trillion by 2019, with Saudi Arabia ($2trn), the UAE ($1trn), Israel ($1trn) and Iran ($1trn) remaining the largest markets.

It already has climbed to $6trn, according to the BCG report. The wealthiest countries in the region in 2014 were Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Israel, Turkey, South Africa, Kuwait, Iran, Egypt, Algeria, Qatar, Oman, Morocco, Lebanon, Bahrain, Tunisia, Syria, Yemen and Jordan.

About 44 percent of the wealth in 2014 was newly created, while the rest came from existing assets.

Bahrain was found to have the second highest density of millionaires in the world (123 out of every 1,000 households), behind Switzerland (135).

Qatar (116) was third, followed by Singapore (107), Kuwait (99), and Hong Kong (94).

Qatar had the fifth highest density of ultra-high net worth individuals, with 8.6 per 100,000 households, behind Hong Kong (15.3), Singapore (14.3), Austria (12.0) and Switzerland (9.0).

BCG said solid savings rates and continued high gross domestic product (GDP) growth in oil-rich countries such as Saudi Arabia (GDP growth of 11 percent), Kuwait (11 percent), and the UAE (11 percent) contributed to the newly created wealth, while existing asset performance was solid despite the region’s political instability.

Meanwhile, the Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) overtook Europe to become the world’s second wealthiest region in 2014, mostly due to new millionaires in China and India.

Asia Pacific also is predicted to become more affluent than millionaires in North America over the next 12 months, making it the richest region for the first time.

Globally, there are 17 million households worth more than $1m, BCG said. Their total wealth grew by 12 percent to $164tr - about 10 times the size of the annual GDP of the US, the world’s richest country.

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