India: A new home for the rich
Government reforms spur growth of wealth
India has secured the sixth position on the list of the top 10 wealthiest countries in the world, with a total wealth of $8,230 billion recorded at the end of 2017, new reports have shown.
According to the 'Global Wealth Migration Report' by New World Wealth, global wealth rose by 12 per cent in 2017, from $192 trillion at the end of 2016 to $215 trillion at the end of 2017. The top performing markets during the year included India, Malta, China, Mauritius, Poland, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and New Zealand. When it comes to wealth per capita, the average individual has net assets of $28,400.
"Over the last decade, India's total wealth witnessed a jump of 160 per cent," said Naveen Sharma, chairman of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India - UAE (Dubai) Chapter. "Today, India is home to 330,400 high net worth individuals (HNWIs) with one million or more in net assets.. the number speaks volumes, and the country is on the right path."
There are approximately 15.2 million HNWIs in the world, each with net assets of $1 million or more. In addition, there are approximately 584,000 multi-millionaires in the world, each with net assets of $10 million or more. New World Wealth revealed that there are 2,252 billionaires in the world, each with net assets of $1 billion or more.
Sharma noted that over the last 10 years, India's GDP is growing between six to eight per cent. Today, India's GDP is the sixth largest in nominal terms and the third largest in purchase power ranking in the world. He attributes the growth in the country to the pro-business policies of the government.
"India's ranking is 100 in the year 2018 in the 'Ease of Doing Business Index' whereas the rank was 142 in the year 2015. In the last three years, India has improved its ranking by one third, which is the highest improvement by any country in the world," he said. "The good thing about India is that not only the Central Government, but also the State Governments are also going all out in attracting foreign direct investment."
Jitendra Gianchandani, chairman of Jitendra Consulting Group, estimated that the Indian economy will grow at a rate of more than seven per cent, which is higher considering the uncertain global environment.
"Also, the IMF is bullish on India's growth and has estimated India to grow by 7.4 per cent in 2018 and 7.85 per cent in 2019," he said. "Recently, India has also allowed 100 per cent foreign direct investment in single-brand-retail via automatic route. Lastly, the recent implementation of hard decisions such as demonetisation, GST and Rera has also boosted the confidence among HNWIs and foreigners in the Indian economy and the share market, which is thriving at the moment."
Atik Munshi, senior partner at Crowe Horwath - UAE, observed that the primary reason for the overall wealth increase in the country is because of the growth India has seen in these past five years, and a higher degree of reporting.
"Traditionally, India is a country where wealth and status has mostly been under reported; a large portion would be tucked away in undeclared and undervalued assets," he said. "Real estate which is a major contributor to the wealth is normally undervalued. Things are rapidly changing with the thrust from the government to rope in a larger portion of tax assessees, streamlining the direct tax regime, and linking various departments. The young entrepreneurs, whose number is growing every year in India, are more inclined to swim with the system rather than against it."
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