‘Poor’ Spain sees 24% surge in millionaires

'Poor' Spain sees 24% surge in millionaires
Despite the economic crisis and record unemployment there are now 1,766 'Ultra High Net Worth Individuals' in Spain with fortunes of over $50 million (€39 million). Photo: JAIME REINA / AFP
There are now 465,000 US dollar millionaires in Spain, 24 per cent more than a year ago, a financial services giant Credit Suisse reveals in a new report which highlights the unequal impact of the country's crisis.

The Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report 2014 shows that the number of people in Spain with a net worth of over $1 million (approximately €740,000) was up 89,000 in the first six months of 2014,  compared with the same period last year.

The 24-per-cent growth is part of an accelerating trend which saw the number of millionaires increase by 13 per cent from the middle of 2012 to mid 2013.

Even within this exclusive club, there is a 'VIP area': there are now 1,766 'Ultra High Net Worth Individuals' with fortunes of over $50 million (€39 million).

In terms of overall inequality, the top 10 per cent richest people in Spain own 56 per cent of the total wealth.

Spain was considered to be average in this respect and in line with countries such as Australia, Canada, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal and the UK.

But the tendency for Spain's 10 per cent richest to line their wallets even more has grown every year since 2007.

The average household net worth in Spain rose by 15 per cent during the period covered, well above the EU average of 10.6 per cent.

Credit Swiss noted that this was a result of equity market movements and improvement of the exchange rate between the euro and the US dollar, according to Spanish daily El Mundo.

The number of millionaires in the world is forecast by CS to grow by 53 per cent in the next five years, to 53.2 million.

The Credit Suisse results for Spain come despite a five-year economic crisis that has seen the country's unemployment rate grow to one of the highest in the developed world.

Five and a half million Spaniards were out of work in June, a jobless rate of 24.47 per cent.

The IMF recently predicted that the Spanish economy would grow faster than any other in the EU in 2015 but that unemployment levels would likely remain second only to those of Greece.

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