The number of Asians with at least $100 million in disposable assets overtook North America’s tally for the first time as the world’s “economic center of gravity” continued moving east, Citigroup said.
There were 18,000 “centa-millionaires” in Southeast Asia, China and Japan at the end of 2011, compared with 17,000 in North America and 14,000 in Western Europe, the New York-based bank said today in The Wealth Report 2012, published in partnership with Knight Frank LLP.
The world economy’s center of gravity has moved from the middle of the Atlantic Ocean in 1980 to a point near the Suez Canal today, the report said, citing calculations by Danny Quah of the London School of Economics. The International Monetary Fund in January cut its forecast for 2012 global growth to 3.3 percent, while saying the 27 countries of developing Asia may grow by 7.3 percent.
The shift may fuel investment in art, wine and sports from Asia, the report said.
China will pass the U.S. to become the largest economy by 2020 and will be overtaken by India in 2050, according to Citigroup research in the report.
In 2010, the number of centa-millionaires in Southeast Asia, China and Japan was 16,000, the same as in North America, and ahead of 13,000 in Western Europe.