of Indians with a personal net worth of over US 1
million in real terms (Rs. 41 million) crossed the
100,000 mark for the first time in 2006. According
to the World Wealth Report released on Thursday by
Merrill Lynch and Capgemini, the number increased
from 83,000 in 2005 to 100,015 in 2006.
The amount does not include the value
of one primary residence or private collections of
objects such as art, antiques or coins. It is based
on the declared assets and the actual number of the
wealthy may be much higher due to a large number of
unaccounted assets existing in the system due to parallel
The year-on-year increase of 20.5%
is closely behind Singapore at 21.2%. The comparable
growth in China has been at 7.8%, where the number
of such wealthy people is 345,000. This is despite
the fact that the Chinese economy grew at 10.7% against
The combined wealth of these super-rich
Indians is $ 100 billion, a third of which is enough
to wipe out India's $ 33-billion fiscal deficit.
India's economic growth and stock
market returns, along with the booming real estate
in 2006 created thousands of new dollar millionaires,
referred generally as high net-worth individuals (HNWI).
USA, UK Australia, Brazil, Canada,
China, Germany, Russia, US are the other countries
which also have more than 100,000 people with at least
$1 million in net assets. Capgemini and Merrill Lynch
define a millionaire as someone with $1 million-plus
in financial assets such as cash, equities, bonds
or mutual funds.
The number is also indicative of
the capacity of individuals to spend on premium wines
and the investment grade wines, as also other luxury
goods. This is the segment that drinks premium wines.
With the growing wine education and exposure to wine
as a better and healthy lifestyle , the growth in
this sector will go north. During the past couple
of years, there has been a marked shift in the consumption
of quality wines in India and the number is constantly
on the increase, with the importers privately admitting
to a spectacular growth in this sector.