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Merrill Lynch, Capgemini World Wealth Report Shows Increase in Australian Millionaires

Australia is seeing vast growth in wealth. The annual Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management and Capgemini World Wealth Report, released today, shows the total number of millionaires in the continent rose to almost 193,000 in 2010, an 11.1 percent increase from the previous year. The report also found the combined wealth of Australia’s millionaires-defined by the report as individuals who possess assets of $1 million or more-saw a 12.1 percent increase to $550 billion.

Dorus van den Biezenbos, Capgemini Australia wealth management specialist, said the increase is one of many shifts within the global market.

“Market capitalization showed a gain of 15.3 percent in 2010 and next to that, we see the real estate market as a big contributor to the positive growth number of millionaires here in Australia,” van den Biezenbos said. “Australia continues to be an important contributor of wealth in the region and globally, ranking as the ninth largest high net worth individual population out of 71 countries.”

Van den Biezenbos added the Asia-Pacific region is now only behind North America in terms of millionaire population, earning its second-place position in global wealth population for the first time ever. But despite the region’s current success, he warns it will stall.

“Depending on other factors such as house prices, [the] unemployment rate and market capitalization, we are expecting a further slowdown for the Asia-Pacific region for next year and Australia,” he said.

Australia received a ninth-place ranking this year, an increase from its 10th-place position in 2010.

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