The number of ultra wealthy people has risen much faster in the West than in emerging markets during the past year, according to a report released on Wednesday.
Almost 10,000 people in Europe and North America have joined the world's ultra wealthy population - meaning they have at least $30 million in net assets - this year while the number of such individuals in the likes of China and Brazil has fallen.
The findings, compiled by UBS AG and Wealth-X (download report), go against expectations that growth in the wealthy populations of fast-growing economies in Asia and Latin America is outstripping those of "old money" countries like the United States, Great Britain and Switzerland.
Despite India’s modest 1.6 per cent population growth, the country added more UHNW individuals (120) than any other BRICS nations in the past 12 months. However, billionaires were the weakest performing wealth tier, joined only by those worth between $200 million and $249 million who did not increase their wealth.
There were 7,850 UHNW individuals (1.6%) in India in 2013 with combined wealth of $935 billion (1.1%). The country had 7,730 UHNW individuals last year with $925 billion wealth. But India's UHNW population with $1 billion wealth fell by 5.5% to 103 in comparison to 109 bn 2012. Total combined wealth of billionaires also fell by 5.3 per cent $180 billion ($190 bn in 2012)
The lowest tier of the UHNW group represented by those worth USD 30 million to USD 49 million is the largest group, of the total UHNW population in the country with a combined fortune of USD 130 billion.
Moreover, India has also the highest number of female millionaires in the world as the country boasts of over 1,250 UHNW women with a combined fortune of USD 95 billion.
A city-wise analysis shows that more than 90 per cent of India's UHNW population live in top 10 cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Pune, Gurgaon and Jaipur.
Mumbai and Delhi, however, dominate with more than 50 per cent of the country's UHNW population based in one of these two cities, the report said.
China saw a 5.1 per cent dip in the number of ultra wealthy people based within its borders while Brazil had a 13.5 per cent fall in 2013 compared with last year.
Bankers, however, say the findings don't necessarily mean there isn't a large wealthy population developing in these countries, but are more