Israel home to 1000 new millionaires

Israel's multi-millionaires, or those with at least $30 million, also grew by ten, to a total of 97.

lots of money 88 (photo credit: )
lots of money 88
(photo credit: )
One thousand more Israelis can call themselves rich, according to the twelfth annual "World Wealth Report" published on Tuesday. The global report, released by Merrill Lynch & Co. and Capgemini Group, showed that the number of the country's millionaires grew by 13.6 percent in 2007, more than double the global millionaires' growth rate of 6%, to a total of 8,200. Israel's multi-millionaires, or those with at least $30 million in assets, also grew by ten, to a total of 97. The country's rich held an aggregate total of $38.5 billion in 2007, while the total assets of the world's rich came to $40.7 trillion, an amount that is spread out over 10.1 million rich people globally. The average wealth of each of the world's millionaires exceeded $4m. for the first time ever. "The impressive growth in the number of Israel's millionaires comes in part from the wealth of those who control Israeli companies and who have placed large amounts of money in world stock markets and private accounts last year," said Sigal Shapiro, the director of private banking for Merrill Lynch in Israel. "The surge in financial markets, the sale of real estate and other sources all fueled the rise in the number of millionaires residing in Israel." In contrast to the growth of Israel's economy last year, world wealth fluctuated in 2007, with the growing wealth of emerging countries compensating for the unsteady economies of traditionally wealthy nations such as the United States and those in Western Europe. The slowdown in the US economy, which was hurt by the subprime mortgage crisis and the subsequent housing crisis, led to a weak dollar, which depreciated against most other major currencies, as well as the shekel. Despite the problems linked to the US credit crisis, an additional 600,00 people around the globe became millionaires last year. The numbers of millionaires in India, China and Brazil - 22.7%, 20.3%, 19.1% respectively - grew the most in 2007, driven by strong markets, while stock markets in the US and Germany showed only modest growth, with most of the slowdown coming in the second half of 2007 after growth from 2006 had spilled over into last year's early months. Emerging markets also proved popular for investment, with developing economies in Europe attracting $276b. of private capital and Latin America bringing in $106b. In addition to sending their money to emerging countries, the world's rich have also begun investing more in green technology. The report stated that social responsibility drove green investors, as well as a desire to invest money in sustainable technology. Israel's investors also placed more money in "investments of passion" during 2007, buying more art, jewelry, and precious stones, as well as expensive cars, private planes and even sports teams. Israeli millionaires also spent large amounts of money on one-time expenses, such as dream vacations.