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Korean Millionaire Total Up 21% in ‘05

Posted June. 22, 2006 03:06,   


Korea recorded the fastest growth rate in the number of millionaires last year.

According to the 2006 World Wealth Report released by Merrill Lynch and Capgemini on June 20, the number of high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) grew most dramatically in Korea last year, rising 21.3 percent.

HNWIs are people with net financial assets of at least $1 million (about 950 million won), excluding their primary residence and consumables.

Merrill Lynch analyzed that the bull market, which rallied 54 percent last year, swelled the ranks of HNWIs in Korea drastically.

Millionaires in Korea increased from 71,000 in 2004 to 86,000 last year.

India showed the second highest growth rate in the HNWI population, which rose 19.3 percent in 2005, followed by Russia (17.4 percent), Republic of South Africa (15.9 percent), Indonesia (14.7 percent), Hong Kong (14.4 percent), Saudi Arabia (13.5 percent), and Singapore (13.4 percent).

The report found that the global HNWI population grew by 6.5 percent over 2004 to 8.7 million in 2005. The wealth of HNWIs climbed to $33.3 trillion in 2005, an 8.5 percent increase over 2004.

To break down the numbers regionally, the number of millionaires grew by 7.3 percent to 2.4 million in the Asia-Pacific region, increased by 6.9 percent to 2.9 million in North America, and swelled by 4.5 percent to 2.8 million in Europe.

They mainly accumulated wealth through ownership and sale of companies (37 percent), income (24 percent), and inheritance (18 percent).

Meanwhile, the number of Ultra-HNWIs – those with financial assets of more than $30 million - grew by 10.2 percent to 85,400 in 2005.

Jong sik Kong kong@donga.com