Russia Has Billionaires, but Lacks Millionaires

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Jun. 2 – According to global management consulting firm Boston Consulting Group’s global wealth report 2011, Russia ranks fifth in the highest number of “ultra-high-net-worth” (UHNW) households at 561.

This year’s Global Wealth Report titled “Shaping a New Tomorrow: How to Capitalize on the Momentum of Change” for the first time published figures on the countries with the highest number of UHNW households, defined as those with more than US$100 million in assets under management (AuM).

The United States has the largest number of these super-wealthy households (2,692), followed by Germany (839), Saudi Arabia (826) and Great Britain (738).

However, findings from the study show that Russia is out of the top-15 countries by quantity of such households per capita. Moreover, BCG’s report illustrates a heavy deficit of millionaires with over US$1 million in AuM in the country.

Singapore continues to have the highest concentration of millionaire households, with 15.5 percent of all households having at least US$1 million in AuM. Switzerland had the highest concentration of millionaire households in Europe and the second-highest overall, at 9.9 percent, while Russia has less then 1 percent millionaire households.

“U.S. dollar millionaires are those who managed to organize their business from scratch in a competitive environment, while our billionaires are parasitizing on natural resources, rent, and monopoly,” Vyacheslav Bobkov, head of the National Living Standards Center said to the Russian daily Kommersant.

The number of the country’s billionaires reached 114 last year, eclipsing the record 101 total reached three years ago, Finans magazine said earlier this year.

“Some 70 percent to 80 percent of all the nation’s assets belong to 2 percent to 2.5 percent of Russian citizens,” according to the data of the Russian Academy of Science, Institute of Economics.

Internationally, millionaire households represented just 0.9 percent of all households but owned 39 percent of global wealth, up from 37 percent in 2009. The number of millionaire households increased by 12.2 percent in 2010 to about 12.5 million.

In terms of individual countries, the nations showing the largest absolute gains in wealth were the United States, China, the United Kingdom, and India.

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