In all this gloom and doom, here's something for at least some people to cheer about: India has over 1,250 ultra high net worth women (UHNW) - those with net assets worth $30 million or above - with a combined fortune of $95 billion.
At 16 percent, India has the highest proportion ofUHNW women in the world, says the latest wealth report by private wealth consulting firm Wealth-X and investment bank UBS.
As of 2013, India's UHNW population had grown to 7,850 from 7,730 a year ago, while the total wealth has only grown from $925 billion in 2012 to $935 billion in 2013. Not surprisingly in a year in which the markets delivered poor returns.
But despite a1.6 percent population growth, the country added more UHNW individuals (120) than any other BRICS nation in the past 12 months. (BRICS - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).
More than 90 percent of our ultra-high net worth Indians live in the top cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Pune, Gurgaon and Jaipur. But of this 90 percent, more than 50 percent of the super rich live in Mumbai and Delhi.
And while Mumbai's super rich increased 1.4 percent - from 2,105 people to 2,135 in 2013, in Delhi it went up to 1,980 compared to 1,945 in 2012. However, Gurgaon and Jaipur saw the largest fall in the ultra-high net worth population- a fall by 4.8 percent and 5.7 percent, respectively.
Billionaires, however, were the weakest performing wealth tier in India in the last 12 months, joined only by those worth between US$200 million and US$249 million, who did not increase their wealth.
This year India is home to just 103 billionaires, down six from 109 billionaires last year. This is higher than most of our neighbours- Bangladesh has 90 billionaires, Sri Lanka 75 - but not when you consider how much smaller Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are compared to India. But China had 157 billionaires.
Taken as a whole, the number of ultra high net worth individuals in Asia rose 5.4 percent to 44,505.
In Asia, the UHNW segment is dominated by entrepreneurs in their first or second generation who are still heavily involved in their family businesses.
But if one were to look at the global picture, the number of ultra wealthy people has risen much faster in the West than in emerging markets during the past year.
Despite ongoing economic uncertainties and geopolitical tensions, the world's ultra wealthy population reached an all-time high of 199,235 individuals with a combined fortune of nearly US$28 trillion in 2013, growing by more than six percent in population size from the previous year and adding $2 trillion to their combined wealth, greater than the GDP of India.
However, the growth was largely due to North America and Europe, with the two regions responsible for a net gain of nearly 10,000 UHNW individuals and a total increase in wealth of US$1.5 trillion.
The icing on the cake, however, is the Middle Eastwhere the ultras - in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Israel and Qatar - saw their total wealth grow by more than 25 percent.
Looking ahead, the report forecasts thatat current growth rates, Asia's ultra wealthy population and wealth will eclipse that of Europe in 2021 and 2017 respectively. Asia will have a larger UHNW population by 2032 and have a greater total wealth by 2024.
Updated Date: Dec 20, 2014 23:02:26 IST