Growth in Number of Ultra Rich Slows Down

The growth in the number of the "ultra rich" in Korea with assets of more than US$30 million has remained flat for the third year running (US$1=W1,033).

According to a report by Singapore information provider Wealth-X and Swiss bank UBS, the number of ultra rich individuals in Korea stood at 1,390 as of June last year, up only 0.4 percent compared to the previous year.

Their combined assets totaled $265 billion, the same as the previous year.

In 2011, when the report first came out, there were 1,400 ultra rich people in Korea with combined assets of $275 billion.

The growth in the number of the ultra rich here was the slowest in Asia alongside China. Lee Sun-wook at Samsung Securities said, "The real estate and stock markets were sluggish over the last three years, so growth in the asset sizes of ultra high net worth individuals has stood still."

Japan saw the highest increase in ultra rich people in Asia. In just one year, 1,440 people joined the club to total 14,270. The annual growth alone was more than the entire number of the ultra rich in Korea.

The combined assets of the Japanese totaled $2.34 trillion, up $260 billion compared to the previous year.

Wealth-X attributed the rise to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic stimulus measures, which resulted in the Nikkei stock index rising more than 50 percent on average over the past 12 months and reviving Japan's economy.

China, whose exports fell due to the global economic slump, saw the number of its ultra rich decline from 11,245 in 2012 to 10,675 in 2013 and their combined assets fall from $1.58 trillion to $1.52 trillion.

The U.S. was home to the most fat cats at 65,505, up 5,225 in one year.

englishnews@chosun.com / Aug. 07, 2014 11:51 KST