New Delhi: The number of millionaires in India rose by little over a fifth, the fastest in the world, to 123,000 at the end of 2007, says the third Asia-Pacific wealth report brought out by Merrill Lynch and Capgemini.

The combined wealth of these millionaires is estimated at $440 billion (Rs20 trillion), which is just under half of the country’s gross domestic product measured at current prices at the end of the last fiscal.

The spurt in high networth individuals has come about due to increased foreign investment, a booming stock market and rapid economic expansion, the study says.

Spoilt for choice: The Mercedes Maybach at the Geneva show. Makers of the Rs5 crore car, see a definite market in India. Adrian Moser / Bloomberg News

Asia Pacific dominated the world’s 10 fastest growing markets with China, South Korea, Indonesia and Singapore, besides India, accounting for five of the top spots.

“Emerging markets are benefiting from recent reforms to the financial services industry and increase in foreign direct investment from international markets, such as the US, UK and middle East," said Wayne Li, senior manager, Capgemini Financial Services Strategic Business Unit. “The jump in numbers (of millionaires) also means more business for financial services industry. They will require more people to manage their wealth," said Rajesh Saluja, chief executive officer of ASK Wealth Advisors, a Mumbai-based private wealth management company.

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