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From: Julius Wong3/28/2012 7:27:45 AM
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Citigroup Study Shows Asian Rich Topping North American
By Sanat Vallikappen - Mar 28, 2012

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 Inc.’s (C) private bank 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 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 number and concentration of centa-millionaires accentuates the trajectory of current global wealth flows,”James Lawson, director at Ledbury Research, said in the report.“Trends seen in this wealth bracket are likely to be replicated in lower wealth tiers in years to come.”

Li Ka-Shing, Asia’s richest man, had a net worth of about $24.8 billion yesterday, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index ranking the world’s 20 wealthiest individuals. Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director of India’s Reliance Industries Ltd., ranked second with $23.6 billion.
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