Qatar has the highest density of millionaires in the world, with 14.3 per cent of the country’s households having private wealth of at least $1 million.
Kuwait, Bahrain and the UAE also rank among the top 10 countries with the most number of millionaires relative to the population, according to the Boston Consulting Group’s (BCG) annual global wealth management report.
While Kuwait ranks third on the list with 11.5 per cent, Bahrain comes seventh with 4.9 per cent and the UAE ranked ninth with four per cent.
Qatar also ranks fourth in the world in terms of ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) households – those with more than $100 million in private wealth, with eight out of 100,000 households falling into this category.
Kuwait ranks seventh and UAE comes in 15th place for UHNWs with seven and three households per 100,000, respectively.
The report found that private financial wealth across the Middle East and Africa (MEA) reached $4.8 trillion in 2012, up 9.1 per cent from $4.4 trillion in 2011.
Wealth held in equities in the MEA region grew by 18.3 per cent in 2012, compared to increases of 9.2 per cent in bonds and 5.2 per cent in cash and deposits.
“The growth of private wealth in the region has been largely driven by a buoyant GCC equity market and an improvement in the global equity markets overall,” said Markus Massi, partner and managing director at BCG Middle East.
The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) index grew 19.9 per cent, the Abu Dhabi Exchange (ADX) rose 9.5 per cent, Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul improvd by six per cent, while the Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) went up by two per cent.
“The recovery of the local real estate markets has also helped to free up additional liquidity for financial investments,” stated Massi.
Going forward, the report states that private wealth in MEA will grow to an estimated $6.5 trillion by the end of 2017, with a projected CAGR of 6.2 per cent.
“This increase will largely be driven by new wealth creation linked to strong GDP expansion in oil-rich countries,” it said.
Globally, private financial wealth grew by 7.8 per cent in 2012 to $135.5 trillion. The total number of millionaire households reached 13.8 million globally in 2012, or 0.9 percent of all households.
The US had the largest number of millionaire households (5.9 million) overall, followed by Japan (1.5 million) and China (1.3 million).
“Over the next five years, wealth among households worth $5 million to $100 million will grow by a projected CAGR of eight per cent, while the UHNW segment is expected to see a CAGR of 9.2 per cent,” Massi added.