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World economy

Rich get richer, especially in Asia-Pacific

Despite the global economic crisis, the number of millionaires in the world rose by 17 per cent in 2009, according to a report just published. The Asia-Pacific region saw the highest rise in the superwealthy, while


The annual Capgemini SA and Merrill Lynch & co World Wealth Report says that Asia-Pacific was the region with the highest rise in the number of milionaires last year - at 26 per cent. It now has as many millionaires as Europe - three million - with Hong Kong and India in the lead.

Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn says he earned eight million euros last year, the highest executive salary publicly revealed in Japan so far under new reporting requirements.

Nissan posted a 376-million-euro annual profit last year as cost-cutting efforts and sales growth in emerging markets helped turn around a huge loss from the year before.



The number of millionaires in the Middle East rose 7.1 per cent to some 400,000 last year, returning to levels last seen in 2007 before the global economic meltdown.

Their combined wealth stands at around 1.3 trillion euros.

The number of millionaires rose in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain but declined sharply in the United Arab Emirates due to the Dubai debt crisis.

The number of millionaire households, or those with at least one million US dollars in investable assets, excluding primary residences, expanded to 10 million from 8.6 million a year earlier.

North America had the second-biggest increase, 17 per cent, to 3.1 million, the largest number in a single region.

Global wealth held by millionaires rose by 19 per cent to 32 trillion euros, after falling more than 19 per cent in 2008 following the credit crisis.

Wealthy investors in all regions except Latin America increased their relative share of holdings in markets outside their home regions, reversing a trend that began in 2006 of increasing investments in home countries.

The US had 2.87 million millionaires, followed by 1.65 million in Japan and 861,500 in Germany, the report says.

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