Number of ultra-wealthy in Middle East to rise 28% by 2022 as Asia overtakes the US

The number of demi-billionaires – those with $500m or more in net assets – in the Middle East will rise by more than a quarter, according to real estate consultancy Knight Frank.

Its half-year update of the Wealth Report, which analyses ultra-high net worth individuals around the world, estimated that Middle East-based demi-billionaires in the Middle East will rise 28% to approximately 500, up from 390 in 2017.

In Saudi Arabia alone, the demi-billionaire population is expected to rise 17% by 2022, to approximately 140.

The Wealth Report also highlights that in five years’ time,  the number of demi-billionaires in Asia will overtake that in North America for the first time.

The report uses information from wealth data specialists Wealth-X which predicts that by 2022, the population of demi-billionaires in Asia will be 2,940, a 113% increase from 1,380 in 2012.

Meanwhile, North America’s demi-billionaire population is expected to touch 2,830 by 2022, up 78% from 1,590 in 2012.

India will have more demi-billionaires than France, Russia or the UK by 2022. The nation, in fact, had 200 demi-billionaires last year in 2017, and this number is all set to increase to 340 in the year 2022.

In comparison, the population of demi-billionaires in France will increase from 230 in 2017 to 310 in 2022 while Russia and the UK, both of which had 220 demi-billionaires in 2017, are expected to increase their numbers by merely 50 and 40, respectively.

Knight Frank cites strong global economic growth, as well as rising asset prices as key drivers behind the growth in the world’s demi-billionaire population. By 2022, Wealth-X anticipates that there will be 9,570 demi-billionaires worldwide, up from 6,900 at the end of 2017.

Pedro Gonçalves
Pedro Gonçalves is Financial Correspondent at International Investment.

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