Qatar and UAE top MENA region in average wealth per person

Middle East wealth growth slows in tandem with global trend

A view of the Navigation ToweThe Navigation Tower (R) stands next to skyscrapers under construction in Dohar in Doha

A view of the Navigation ToweThe Navigation Tower (R) stands next to skyscrapers under construction in Dohar in Doha

REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad

Tuesday, Nov 22, 2016

Dubai: Qatar and UAE topped in the average wealth per person in the Middle East and North Africa region Global Wealth Report 2016 from Credit Suisse Research Institute (CSRI).

Growth in global wealth remains limited in 2016 with trend reflecting in the growth trends in the Middle East and North Africa region. The report shows, total global wealth in 2016 edged upwards by $3.5 trillion to a total of $256 trillion (or 1.4 per cent) and average wealth per adult was at $52,800.

“The consequences of the 2008-2009 recession will continue to have a material impact on growth, which is pointing more and more towards a long-term stagnation. The emergence of a multipolar world, confirmed by the impact of the Brexit vote in the UK and by the US Presidential election, is likely to exacerbate such a trend, which could possibly lead to a new normal lower rate of wealth growth,” said Loris Centola, Global Head of Research of International Wealth Management.

According to the Credit Suisse report in the MENA region, Qatar recorded the highest average wealth per adult of $161,700 in mid-2016, while UAE followed closely with $151,100. However, both the countries saw a small drop of -0.4 per cent and -0.3 per cent respectively from mid last year.

Kuwait placed third in the region with an average wealth per adult of $119,000, grew by 0.2 per cent since last year. The average wealth per adult in Bahrain fell by -1.1 per cent from mid last year to $50,600. Average wealth per adult in Saudi Arabia, the largest economy in the region, also fell by -0.6 per cent, touching $40,600 while Egypt’s wealth per adult saw a massive drop of -13 per cent, touching USD 6,300.

In terms of total wealth, Saudi Arabia ranked first with an estimated wealth of $725 billion, closely followed by the UAE with an estimated wealth of $597 billion. Egypt’s total wealth declined to $351 billion this year, having peaked at $511 billion in 2010.

Qatar and Kuwait’s total wealth is estimated to be $210 billion and $288 billion respectively. Bahrain’s net household wealth is estimated at $31 billion. Total wealth in the MENA region grew by 162 per cent since 2000, well above the global average 119 per cent. In the next five years household net wealth in the MENA region is expected to increase by a further 53 per cent, or nearly 9 per cent annually.

Region specific data shows average wealth in MENA has declined by 2.6 per cent in the 12 months to mid-2016 to $13,300. Measured in local currency average wealth increased by 2.5 per cent. The MENA region currently accounts for 5.9 per cent of the world’s adults but just 1.4 per cent of global wealth. The number of adults has increased by 56 per cent since 2000, the highest rate among regions in the report.

The lower segment of the wealth pyramid, adults with net wealth up to $10,000, accounts for 83 per cent of the population. The size of this segment has increased by 49 per cent since 2000, below population growth, indicating the region is gradually becoming more prosperous. In contrast, the number of adults belonging to the global middle class, with net wealth between $10,000 and $100,000 grew by 90 per cent over the same period.

The data showed, by far the fastest growing segments of the wealth pyramid were the top tiers, as the number of adults with net wealth between $100,000 and 1 million grew 278 per cent for the period 2000-16, and the number of millionaires grew by an estimated 330.

By Babu Das Augustine Banking Editor

Gulf News 2016. All rights reserved.

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