NEW DELHI: India was the only country among the world’s top 10 ultra high net worth (UHNW) nations that recorded an increase in its
population in 2022, according to the
World Ultra Wealth Report
2023 released by Altrata.
India stands out
Despite the global UHNW population falling by 5.4% to 3,95,070 individuals in 2022, India’s ultra wealthy population registered a 3.2% increase to 8,880 — with a combined net worth of over $1.4 trillion. An ultra wealthy individual has been defined as anyone with a net worth of $30 million or more.
The top 10 ultra wealth nations all saw a dip in their UHNW populations — except India.
As per the data, wealth portfolios were hit by another turbulent year for the world economy. Following historical highs in recent years, the combined global net worth of UNHW individuals has fallen by 5.5% to $45.4 trillion — the second-largest annual fall in the past decade.
The fall in global figures represents a sharp reversal from 2020 (when the global UHNW population grew by 1.7%) and the first downturn in UHNW numbers since 2018, although it only partially reversed the dynamic gains recorded in 2020.
Portfolios strongly attached to technology, “new economy” and healthcare sectors were among the hardest hit; while the exit of many economies from pandemic restrictions spurred activity in shipping, aerospace, construction and tourism. The conflict in Ukraine drove net worth gains in the energy and defense industries.
Asia’s wealthy hit hardest
Asia’s ultra wealthy population fell by 11% in 2022, the most of any region, to 1,08,370 individuals.
China’s strict Covid lockdown, fallout from the war in Ukraine, disrupted regional supply chains and depressed stocks all played a role, said the report.
The second-largest UHNW region lost ground to its peers in 2022, recording double-digit percentage falls in ultra wealthy numbers and cumulative wealth. The total wealth of Asia’s UHNW population fell by 10.6%, all but eroding the previous year’s gains.
US still richest by far
Despite recording a decline of 4% in 2022 to 1,42,990 individuals, North America – the leading UHNW region – saw its share of the global UHNW class rise slightly, to
36%, as both Asia and Europe experienced larger relative falls in population.
Wealth holdings in North America were hit primarily by a slump in capital markets. The US Federal Reserve’s most aggressive cycle of policy tightening since the 1980s brought an abrupt end to a decade-long bull market in risk assets. Heightened risk aversion saw returns on US equities fall sharply, with the S&P 500 closing the year down 18% and the tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite index down 32%.
Despite a 4% fall, the US consolidated its status as by far the world’s largest wealth market with 1,29,665 UHNW individuals having a total net worth of $15 trillion.
Among the world’s premier UHNW cities, Hong Kong and New York retained their lead, with almost twice as many UHNW individuals as third and fourth ranked London and Los Angeles. Any rises in city UHNW numbers were generally modest but the outlier was Singapore, which enjoyed growth of 13%.
Despite the downturn, the report said the share of global private wealth held by the ultra wealthy will continue to increase.
“Despite recent volatility and continuing uncertainty, we remain cautiously optimistic about the opportunities for wealth generation – we forecast the number of UHNW individuals to increase over the next 5 years from 395,070 to 528,100. Having overtaken Europe in 2019, Asia’s share of UHNW wealth will continue to grow (to 29%, up from 27% in 2022 and just 15% in 2004), while North America will remain the largest wealth market,” the report said.