Indians lead in making millionaires: Report

Indians lead in making millionaires: Report

Mumbai: India is minting new millionaires at a faster pace than anywhere else in the world, buoyed by a fast-growing economy, according to a new study.

There were an estimated 123,000 millionaires in India at the end of 2007 - 22.7% more than in the previous 12 months, said the Asia-Pacific Wealth Report, compiled by US investment bank Merrill Lynch and consultants Capgemini

“Despite dislocations in developed markets, the number of high net worth individuals in India grew at a faster rate than the global average," said Pradeep Dokania, head of Global Wealth Management for DSP Merrill Lynch.

“Domestic demand and Asia’s appetite for commodities continue to drive wealth accumulation in India," he said.

China was the second in the millionaire stakes.

It had a millionaire population growth of 20.3% in the same period followed by South Korea with 18.9%.

The figures, released late Thursday, assessed the wealth of so-called “high net-worth individuals" (HNWIs) as people with more than one million dollars in net assets -- excluding primary residences.

“In 2007, the standout markets in the Asia-Pacific region were China and India, with the number of wealthy individuals, and their overall level of wealth, growing at a faster rate than the global averages," the report said.

India’s economy grew by 9% in the financial year to March 2008, while China’s economy expanded by 11.9% last year, well ahead of other industrialised countries who are feeling the effects of global market turmoil.

But growth is expected to slow this year in both countries, albeit still at strong rates.

In India, the country’s economy, which has drawn billions of dollars in foreign investment, has been losing steam as the central bank has aggressively raised interest rates to curb inflation now at 13-year highs.

Economic growth for the first-quarter ending June, slowed to 7.9%, the weakest in three-and-a-half years.

India’s stock markets grew by 47.1% in 2007, but the benchmark Sensex is down more than 33% this year.

China meanwhile has seen growth slow to 10.1% in the second quarter of this year.