World Bulletin / News Desk
Many millionaires got poorer in the last year, but billionaires did just fine, using their heavyweight money management teams to ride out market and economic turmoil that hit the lesser rich, research company Wealth-X said on Monday.
The ranks of people with at least $30 million edged up to 187,380 but their total wealth fell 1.8 percent to $25.8 trillion -- still a sum bigger than the combined size of the U.S. and Chinese economies, Wealth-X said in a report.
Hardest hit globally were those in the $200 million to $499 million range, whose numbers dropped 9.9 percent and whose fortunes shrank 11.4 percent, the World Ultra Wealth Report said, using data for the year through July 31.
But the really, really rich got even richer as the number of billionaires rose 9.4 percent to 2,160 people and their wealth grew 14 percent to $6.2 trillion.
"Even at a billion or two billion, they have a much larger entourage, they have much more in the way of investment advice. They certainly get the attention of every major bank," Mykolas Rambus, Wealth-X's chief executive officer, told Reuters.
"This was the issue about that mid tier, the $100- to $500-million risk land. I don't think it appears these guys employ enough talent to help their own portfolios plus their holding companies to be successful."
As Europe struggles and the U.S. economy recovers fitfully, the affluent are shifting away from speculative investments into private companies, commodities and property, said Wealth-X, a Singapore-based firm that provides intelligence on the ultra-rich to banks, fundraisers and luxury retailers.
Asia suffered the worst regional loss of wealth, with a fall of 6.8 percent to $6.25 trillion due to weaker equity markets and lower export demand from the West, it said.
While wealth also shrank in Europe, Latin America and the Middle East, the rich saw their fortunes grow in North America (up 2.8 percent to $8.88 trillion) and Oceania (up 4.4 percent to $475 billion) -- much of that in Australia.
But Asia's rich cannot be discounted, Wealth-X said, as the fall in wealth in Japan, China and India -- home to 75 percent of ultra high net worth (UHNW) Asians -- will reverse, based on the strength of the region's financial systems and economies.
"Total Asian UHNW wealth is forecast to surpass the U.S. combined wealth by 2020," it said.
Allegations of possible manipulation of the $5.3 trillion-a-day foreign exchange market have so far centered on major banks.
The decision will remove duties on agricultural products, processed foods, textiles and industrial goods, saving Ukrainian businesses 487 million euros a year.
Chrystalla Georghadji takes up her post on April 11, after outgoing governor Panicos Demetriades works out his notice.
The wording on energy dependency was not in an earlier version of the document circulated before Russian forces seized Crimea
India, with the increases already made in the January-March loading plans from Iran, has to cut its purchases of the crude
Eurozone finance ministers give green light to release 150 million euros for the Greek Cypriot administration.
"Sugar consumption that dated back to the BC epoch found its way into Ethiopian households only lately; people had to be convinced," Zemedkun Tekle, communications director at the state-run Ethiopian Sugar Corporation, said.
The agreement is the first Canada has concluded with a nation from Asia, a fast-growing part of the world that Ottawa is deliberately targeting.
While Europe lacks immediate alternatives to replace Russian supplies, long-term efforts are in place to reduce Moscow's dominance in the sector. Russia pushes on with gas pipeline despite EU delay
Pakistan will give India Most Favored Nation status by the end of March.
"Germany's dependence on Russian gas may effectively decrease Europe's sovereignty. I have no doubts about that," Polish PM Tusk said
EU member Bulgaria has started preliminary works on the pipeline on its territory, but has repeatedly said its operation should be in line with EU rules
Japan posted a current account deficit of 1.58 trillion yen (US$15 billion) for January.
The Asia-Pacific would be left with more than half a billion chronically hungry people even if the region meets its millennium development goal
The Visegrad 4 group including Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia is looking to diversify supplies