North America reclaimed the top spot with the most millionaires last year as the world’s ultra-rich led the way in raising global wealth to a record high, according to a report by Cap Gemini SA and Royal Bank of Canada.
People in North America with at least $1 million in investable assets climbed 11.5 percent to 3.73 million in 2012, regaining the No. 1 ranking after being overtaken in 2011 by the Asia-Pacific region, according to today’s 17th annual World Wealth Report. High-net-worth individuals in Asia-Pacific increased 9.4 percent to 3.68 million.
The combined wealth of the world’s millionaires rose 10 percent to a record $46.2 trillion last year, after declining 1.7 percent in 2011. North America remained the richest region with $12.7 trillion of high-net-worth assets, compared with $12 trillion in Asia-Pacific, according to the study.
“North America’s lead in both population and wealth is likely to be eclipsed again in future by Asia-Pacific,” Jean Lassignardie, chief sales and marketing officer for Paris-based Capgemini Global Financial Services, said in a statement. Asia- Pacific’s total wealth increased 12.2 percent, outpacing North America’s 11.7 percent growth, he said.
The increase in global wealth was led by the super-rich, those with at least $30 million to invest, whose assets and numbers rose by about 11 percent following declines in 2011, according to the report. A global recovery in stock markets and real estate fueled the increase, the study found.
The MSCI AC World Index, which tracks global stocks in developed and emerging markets, climbed 13 percent in 2012 and the MSCI AC Asia Pacific Index jumped 14 percent.
All regions had strong gains in high-net-worth populations and wealth except Latin America, which faltered amid slow economic growth and “challenged” equity markets, according to the report.
The population of millionaires worldwide rose 9.2 percent to 12 million, according to the report.
Global wealth will grow at 6.5 percent annually over the next three years, led by the 9.8 percent increase from the Asia- Pacific region, the report shows.