(PTI – NDTV.Com)
The wealth of world’s rich people dropped nearly 20 per cent to $32.8 trillion, while India saw the second largest decline in the number of High Net Worth Individuals at the end of 2008, says a report.
 
The population of HNWIs shrank by about 15 per cent to 8.6 million and in India, the numbers came down by 31.6 per cent to 84,000, says the World Wealth Report from Merrill Lynch and Capgemini.
 
HNWIs are referred to those who have at least $one million in investable assets, excluding primary residence, collectibles, consumables, and consumer durables.
 
“At the end of 2008, the worlds population of HNWIs was down 14.9 per cent from the year before to 8.6 million, and their wealth had dropped 19.5 per cent to $32.8 trillion.
 
The declines were unprecedented, and wiped out two robust years of growth in 2006 and 2007,” the report said.
 
Interestingly, the wealth of such individuals grew about 7.2 per cent from 2005 to 2007 while their wealth rose 10.4 per cent during the same period.
 
“India’s HNWI population shrank 31.6 per cent to 84,000, the second largest decline in the world, after posting the fastest rate of growth (up 22.7 per cent) in 2007.
 
“India, still an emerging economy, suffered declining global demand for its goods and services and a hefty drop in market capitalisation (64.1 per cent) in 2008,” the report said.

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