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Mideast assets under management surge

Manama, June 15, 2010

Millionaire households owned more than half the wealth in the Middle East and Africa last year, and the percentage of assets under management owned by the established wealthy was higher then anywhere else in the world.

Assets under management in the Middle East and Africa rose by 13 per cent last year to reach $3.9 trillion compared with $3.5 trillion in 2008, according to a new study by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

'This development comes on the heels of a dip of 9 per cent in 2008 in relation to 2007, when the assets under management were close to $3.8 trillion,' said BCG Middle East partner and managing director Dr Sven-Olaf Vathje.

According to the study, Kuwait stood fourth in a world ranking of concentration of millionaire households. Qatar stood fifth and the UAE sixth.

In terms of asset classes, the biggest proportion of the wealth of Middle East and African households was held in cash and deposits amounting to 54 per cent followed by equities at 25 per cent and bonds 21 per cent last year.

Cumulatively, the Middle East and Africa had a revenue pool of about $10 billion last year.

A good portion of these revenues accrue in offshore financial centres, where roughly a third of Middle East and African wealth is booked.

Switzerland and the UK including the Channel Islands are the most important offshore hubs, capturing more than 80 per cent of offshore wealth.

'The GCC countries contribute almost half of the Middle East and African wealth,' added Dr Vathje.

BCG's 10th annual global wealth report, titled Regaining Lost Ground: Resurgent Markets and New Opportunities, showed that North America posted the largest absolute gain in wealth, up $4.6 trillion or 15 per cent, but the largest percentage gain, and the second largest in absolute terms, occurred in Asia-Pacific, excluding Japan, where wealth increased by 22 per cent, or $3.1 trillion.

That was nearly double the global rate.

Latin America had the second-highest growth rate at 16 per cent and Europe remained the wealthiest region with its $37.1 trillion in assets under management representing one-third of the world's wealth.

It was one of several regions where wealth surpassed its pre-crisis year-end peak.

North America and Japan were the only regions where wealth remained below the year-end 2007 levels.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: economy | Middle East | assets | Boston Consulting Group | wealth |

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