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(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Break out some champagne and caviar: Israel boasted 7,200 millionaires in 2006, some 12.9 percent more than in 2005. The wealthy Israelis have an estimated net worth of $35 billion, reported Merrill Lynch and the consulting firm Capgemini in their World Wealth Report, released on Wednesday. The report also noted that the number of Israel's multimillionaires, or those worth more than $30 million, grew 15% to 87.
The capital of the country's millionaires rose 15% last year, compared to only 11.3% in the rest of the world, while the number of millionaires jumped 50% above the average number of increases in countries from the rest of the world.
Uri Goldfarb, Merrill Lynch Israel vice president for private banking, said these rises can be attributed in large part to an increase in investments made in developing countries, the continued rise of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, the purchase of property for development both at home and abroad and the rise of foreign investors in Israel's companies.
The report's research noted that the assets of the 9.5 million people in the world classified as "high net worth individuals" rose to $37.2 trillion, an increase of 11.4% from 2005, and representing the first double-digit growth in seven years.
The number of individuals who joined the HNWI list rose 8.3% from 2005, while the members of the ultra high net worth club (net worth above $30m.) climbed 11.3% to 94,970.
Singapore and China, said the report, demonstrated the greatest HNWI growth.
"This year's report found that the number of wealthy people, and the amount of wealth that they control, continued to increase in 2006, with extraordinary wealth creation in Singapore and India," said Robert J. McCann, president of Merrill Lynch's Global Private Client Group, in the report.
"The level of wealth creation around the world provides a tremendous opportunity for wealth management firms, and success will go to the firms that offer a service model that meets the ever-changing needs of today's sophisticated clients," he added.
According to the report, the Middle East was the only region to see a dispersion, rather than a consolidation, of wealth.
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