Emirates Financial Towers in Dubai

The MENA countries have an estimated 330,000 millionaires in 2015, up by more than 240 % from the turn of the century.

Credit Suisse, the world’s second-biggest private bank released its report last Sunday on the world’s wealth.  It is its sixth annual Global Wealth Report, which looks at how the middle class has developed over the years.

According to this report of the Credit Suisse Research Institute, the number of millionaires is projected to rise by another 52 % to reach 500,000 by 2020.

Globally, household wealth fell by $13 trillion from mid-2014 to mid-2015 mainly due to the recent dollar upward fluctuations but if measured at constant exchange rates, it would have gone up by $13 trillion.

The United States had a substantial rise in household wealth of $4.6 trillion and China $1.5 trillion.

The number of dollar millionaires worldwide is projected to increase by 46 % in the next five years to reach 49.3 million by mid-2020.

“We are clearly in a growth industry, with wealth set to continue its upward trajectory.  By our estimates, wealth could grow at an annual rate of 6.6 per cent, reaching $345 trillion in 2020,” a Credit Suisse executive said to the media.

“Furthermore, the number of dollar millionaires could exceed 49.3 million adults in 2020, a rise of more than 46.2 %, with China likely to see the largest percentage increase and Africa as the next performing region,” he said.

The Credit Suisse Research Institute estimates that there are 123,800 ultra-high net worth individuals, or UNHWs, worldwide, defined as those with a networth exceeding $50 million. Of these, 44,900 are worth at least $100 million and 4,500 have assets above $500 million. “The strong dollar has reduced the number of UNHW adults by 800 since mid-2014, but our calculations suggest that there has been a small increase in the number of individuals owning more than $500 million.”

MENA countries have an estimated 2,300 ultra-high net worth individuals, the report said.  Meanwhile, household wealth in the MENA region totalled $4.4 trillion in mid-2015, down 2.2 % since mid-2014.

The slide in household wealth in the region comes amid a sharp drop in the price of oil, but despite that decline in wealth, the authors of the report say the number of millionaires in the region is expected to grow by more than half in the next five years.

And, cracks are beginning to appear across the MENA region, with governments issuing more debt than banks can absorb.  With oil prices barely exceeding the $50 mark, sovereigns’ funding needs are growing.  However, tighter liquidity conditions in GCC banking systems are casting doubt on the ability to support these growing needs.

People across the globe will continue to increase their fortunes in the next few years and the UAE for instance, that currently has 59,000 dollar millionaires, will witness its wealthy people surge to 96,000 by 2020 whilst Saudi Arabia’s expected to be up 72 % to 86,000.

In terms of total wealth, Saudi Arabia ranked first among GCC economies, with an estimated total wealth of $0.7 trillion, closely followed by the UAE with an estimated wealth of  $0.6 trillion.  Egypt ranked first among North African nations with an estimated wealth of $0.4 trillion.  Credit Suisse estimated that both Saudi Arabia and UAE will see the most significant increase in the number of wealthy residents in the next five years.

The UAE’s total household wealth reached $600 billion and its average wealth per capita was 2nd in the Middle-East whereas Qatar was stated as having the highest average wealth per individual with $157,000 in mid-2015 closely followed by the UAE with $144,400.

In the MENA region, the average wealth per capita declined for reasons attributed mainly to exchanges rates fluctuations by 6.9 per cent to $15,800 in mid-2015, from $16,900 in mid-2014.

Saudi Arabia in total household wealth, ranked first among GCC economies, with an estimated total wealth of $700 billion.

Kuwait is not far behind, with an average wealth per capita estimated to be around $113,400, representing a decrease by 7.6 % from a year earlier.

In Bahrain, private wealth per adult dropped by 0.3 %, while in Saudi Arabia, the figure rose by 0.9 % to reach $39,500.  Way down the ladder, Egypt’s wealth per adult fell 5.3 % to $7,000.