New York: Suppose all of the world’s richest people got together and pooled their assets into one lump sum. How much money would that be?
According to a report released on 27 June, the combined wealth of the globe’s richest individuals rose more than 11% to a grand total of $37.2 trillion last year.
The report also found the expansion of the world’s richest class was strongest in both India and Singapore. The rise marks the first double-digit increase in seven years.
Thanks to a strong global economy, 9.5 million people held at least $1 million in financial assets, excluding the value of their primary homes, in 2006 up from 8.7 million in 2005, according to the 11th annual World Wealth Report compiled by Merrill Lynch & Co and the consulting firm Capgemini Group.
Those accumulated trillions give these individuals control of about a quarter of the world’s total wealth, or nearly three times the US’ gross domestic product.
If the rich decided to combine their assets and split the money evenly among all 9.5 million of them, they would each be left with nearly $3,915,789. That would be enough for each person to buy about a dozen Rolls Royce luxury cars, or more than 7,000 of Apple Inc’s new iPhones.
Worldwide, gross-domestic-product growth and accelerating market capitalisation - or the value of corporations’ outstanding shares in the global market - fueled the generation of wealth, the report found.
The expansion of the world’s richest class was strongest in both India and Singapore, the report found, which each boasted increases of more than 20%. Solid investor cash-flow into riskier corners of both countries’ emerging markets generated much of the gains, according to the report.