India’s ultra-wealthy individuals set to double by 2024: Report

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on March 06, 2020 Published on March 05, 2020

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With growth forecast at 73 per cent, country also tops ‘fastest-growing’ list

The number of ultra-wealthy individuals in India is set to double over the next five years, according to a report by real-estate consultancy firm Knight Frank.

According to the Wealth Report 2020, the number of ultra-high net-worth individuals (UHNWI) in India will grow 73 per cent in the next five years. As a result, the number of ultra-wealthy individuals will rise to 10,354 by 2024 from 5,986 in 2019.

UHNWIs include individuals with a wealth of more than $30 million, including their primary home.

Despite rising geopolitical tensions, slow growth forecasts and uncertainty in 2019, 51 per cent of ultra-wealthy Indians saw an increase in their fortune, the wealth report said.

The GDP factor

India currently ranks 12th in global ultra-wealthy population, which is dominated by the US with 2,40,575 individuals, followed by China (61,587) and Germany (23,078). India is ahead of South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Brazil in terms of number of ultra-wealthy individuals.

With a 73 per cent growth forecast, India tops the list of fastest growing countries, followed by Egypt (66 per cent), Vietnam (64 per cent) and China (58 per cent).

The report, however, added that the growth in the number of ultra-wealthy individuals in India is based on GDP growth, which is expected to reach the 7 per cent-mark by 2022.

Knight Frank also predicted that by 2024, Asia, with a five-year growth forecast of 44 per cent, will be the world’s second-largest wealth hub, outperforming Europe. However, even after such a steep rise, it will reach only half the size of North America's UNHNWI population, which is predicted to increase by 22 per cent over the same period.

“It's exciting to see how wealth is developing across Asia and, with the number of ultra-wealthy in India, Vietnam, China and Malaysia outpacing many other markets over the next five years, it will be interesting to see how this impacts the global property market,” said Liam Bailey, Global Head of Research at Knight Frank over a video conferencing call.

Preference for equities, bonds

While equities and bonds remain preferred investment assets of India’s ultra-wealthy, their Asian counterparts prefer investing in properties, the Attitudes survey, conducted as part of the wealth report, said.

As many as 83 per cent of Indian ultra-wealthy individuals are planning to increase or maintain their allocation to equities, followed by bonds (77 per cent) and property (51 per cent). In 2019, investment allocation in equity by Indian ultra-wealthy increased 72 per cent.

Knight Frank’s Bailey said that four out of five global UHNWIs intend to alter their investment strategies this year due to the change in global economic conditions.

Accumulation of wealth is not the sole target for these billionaires. According to the report, 68 per cent of the ultra-rich globally hinted at increasing their philanthropic activities; the Indian average is 67 per cent.

Also, 24 per cent of India’s ultra-wealthy want to buy a new home in 2020 against the 21 per cent global average. For Indian billionaires, the UK is the favourite destination to buy property, followed by Dubai, the US and Australia.

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Published on March 05, 2020
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