3.4 lakh Indians among top 1% global rich, says report

Zurich: A global wealth report released on November 14 says there are an estimated 340,000 Indians among the top 1% of global wealth holders, accounting for a 0.7% share.
These include 1,820 Indians with wealth more than $50 million and 760 with more than $100 million, the report by Zurich-based financial services major Credit Suisse said. It estimated there could be 370,000 millionaires in India by 2022.
Ten years since the global financial crisis, the report says global wealth has grown by 27%. In the 12 months to mid-2017, global wealth grew at a faster pace than in recent years, with mean wealth per adult reaching a new record high.
“The US continued its unbroken spell of gains since the financial crisis, bolstered by strong market conditions. It added $8.5 trillion to the stock of global wealth — half of the wealth generated globally over the 12 months to mid-2017,” the report says.
In percentage terms, India’s stock of household wealth grew at 10.1% during the year, although its addition to total global wealth was limited to $451 billion. The report says India is notable for the rise in household debt, which it estimates to be close to 20%.
India is also expected to grow its wealth very rapidly and add $2.1 trillion in just five years — an increase of 42%. Total wealth in India increased fourfold between 2000 and 2017, reaching $5 trillion in 2017.
“Despite this remarkable increase and having four times the population of the United States, total wealth in India is comparable to the level for the United States 90 years ago. We expect it to reach $6 trillion in real terms by 2022, which is comparable with the level in the United States in 1936,” the report says.
According to Credit Suisse’s estimates, annual growth of wealth per adult in rupees averaged 7% over 2000–2017. Prior to 2008, wealth also rose strongly in US dollar terms, from $2,010 in 2000 to $5,020 in 2007. After falling 26% in 2008, it rebounded, reaching $5,050 in 2010, but since then has risen only 18%, held back by currency depreciation.
Wealth per adult is estimated at $5,980 in mid-2017, dominated by property and other real assets, which make up 86% of estimated household assets. Personal debts are estimated to be only $376 or just 9% of gross assets, when adjustments are made for under-reporting.
“Thus, although indebtedness is a severe problem for many poor people in India, overall household debt as a proportion of assets in India is lower than in most developed countries. While wealth has been rising in India, not everyone has shared in this growth. There is still considerable wealth poverty, reflected in the fact that 92% of the adult population has wealth below $10,000,” the report says.
“At the other extreme, a small fraction of the population (just 0.5% of adults) has a net worth over $100,000. However, due to India’s large population, this translates into 4.2 million people,” the report adds.

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