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Kenya had about 291 ultra-rich individuals who were worth at least Sh3 billion by the end of 2017.

Kenya is among the top four countries in the world where super-rich populations are growing fastest, a study by Wealth-X has revealed.

The World Ultra Wealth Report 2018 shows that the world’s ultra high net worth (UHNW) stood at 255,810 individuals by 2017.

According to the report, this was a 12.9 percent growth from 3.6 in 2016.

The report examined the development of the ultra-wealthy sector in 2017, exploring the main political and market drivers, regional trends and the distribution of wealth.

It then profiled the ultra-wealthy population in terms of their asset holdings, the source of wealth, industry focus and philanthropic interests.

The report showed that Africa is home to 2,490 of the UHNW individuals, with an analysis by Forbes ranking Kenya in the fourth position with 11.7 percent of the African population.

This means Kenya had about 291 ultra-rich individuals who were worth at least Sh3 billion by the end of 2017.

The report said Africa’s condition was aided by modest improvement of economic conditions aided by the upturn in global commodity markets and firmer consumer growth in countries like Nigeria, Ethiopia and South Africa.

Domestic equity markets performed strongly but this was offset partially by currency depreciation against the US dollar and a destabilizing backdrop of weak institutions, ongoing policy management issues, high indebtedness and declining foreign aid,” notes the report.

The report said the combined wealth of the 255,810 individuals rose by 16.3 per cent to $31.5trn, “implying healthy gains in average net worth”.

In general view, Africa accounted for only 1 per cent (2,490) of the global population of the super-rich, while North America had the highest population of 35 per cent, representing 90,440 individuals.

Europe accounted for 28 per cent (72,570 individuals), Asia (27%- 68,970) Middle East (4%- 9,090), Latin America (3%- 8,550), and Pacific with 1 per cent – 3,700 individuals.

Africa’s combined wealth net worth of the 2,490 individuals stood at $305bn (Sh30.7 trn).

According to Forbes, Bangladesh had the fastest growing ultra-rich populations with 17.3 per cent while China was second with 13.4 per cent of Asia’s UHNW populations.

Vietnam came third with 12.7 per cent of Asia’s population.

The Forbes analysis puts India in the 5th position to account for 10.3 per cent.

Hong Kong (a semi-autonomous special administration region of China) has 9.3 per cent, Ireland (9.1%), Israel (8.6%) and Pakistan (8.4%).

The world superpower the United States, is ranked 10th accounting for 8.1 per cent of North America’s ultra-high-net-worth individual.

According to Forbes, this is approximately 80,000, more than the total of the next five countries combined – Japan, China, Germany, Canada and France.

The Star

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