WM Market Reports

Global Wealth Expanded In 2012; Offshore Assets Rose, But Share Dipped - BCG Study

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor, London, 31 May 2013


Global wealth expanded at a solid rate in 2012, and offshore assets also rose, although the latter's share of the total dipped in relative terms, the Boston Consulting Group said in a report highlighting challenges for the industry.

Total private financial wealth expanded by 7.8 per cent last
year from the year before to reach a total of $135.5 trillion, outpacing the rises
in 2011 or 2010, when global wealth grew by 3.6 per cent and 7.3 per cent,
respectively, the Boston Consulting Group has reported. It also reported that
offshore wealth grew, but declined in relative terms.

Wealth increased in North America (7.8 per cent), Western
Europe (5.2 per cent), and Japan
(2.4 per cent), mainly owing to the sharp rebound in equity markets in most
countries, particularly in the second half of the year. Meanwhile, new wealth
creation fuelled stronger, double-digit growth in the new-world regions of
Asia-Pacific ex-Japan (13.8
per cent), Eastern Europe (13.2 per cent), and Latin
America (10.5 per cent), BCG said in its 13th
annual survey.

Wealth in the Middle East
and Africa (MEA) saw near-double-digit growth (9.1 per cent). New-world regions
will account for nearly 70 per cent of the growth in global private wealth over
the next five years, it said.

The report also went on to pinpoint what it sees as challenges in the industry and how to overcome them. The study is one of a number of global surveys of wealth trends due out in the next few weeks, such as the RBC/Capgemini annual survey.

The total number of millionaire households reached 13.8
million globally in 2012, or 0.9 per cent of all households. The US had the largest number of millionaire
households (5.9 million), followed by Japan
(1.5 million) and China
(1.3 million). China should
surpass Japan
in 2013, it continued.

The highest density of millionaires was in Qatar, where 143 out of every 1,000 households
have private wealth of at least $1 million, followed by Switzerland (116), Kuwait
(115), Hong Kong (94), and Singapore
(82). The US had the
largest number of billionaires in 2012, but the highest density of billionaire
households was in Hong Kong (15.1 per million), followed by Switzerland (9.4 per million).

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