GCC millionaires on the rise

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Millionaires and billionaires in the Middle East are more flush with cash than ever, despite the lingering effects of the financial crisis.
According to the latest global wealth study by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), people with assets worth at least US$1 million increased by 8.6 per cent in the Middle East to a whopping US$4.5 trillion last year.
Billionaires are also on the rise, with Saudi Arabia coming out on top in the region with 18 ultra-wealthy households (that's homes that have more than US$100m assets under management) per 100,000 households. The UAE came in at 10th place on this list, while Kuwait was in 4th place.
BCG Middle East says the findings come as no surprise, more so because of the petroleum-rich region we live in. What is surprising is the fact that during the height of the financial crisis, some of region's high-net-worth individuals lost part of their fortunes.
But Sven-Olaf Vathje, a partner and managing director at BCG Middle East, said most wealthy individuals had since bounced back and recouped their losses. "We did see the number of millionaires come down because they were exposed to the equity markets," he told Personal Finance recently.
"But the percentage of millionaires in the region only came down slightly and those who lost their status have gained it back because the assets they were holding during and after the crisis have recovered."