Bangladesh ranked fastest growing country of ultra rich

Bad phenomenon amid widening inequality, says economists

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:40, Sep 12,2018 | Updated: 00:42, Sep 12,2018

 
 

A United States-based research firm has ranked Bangladesh the fastest growing country with an increasing number of ultra rich in the world.
Economists noted on Tuesday that this was not good news for the country because of the widening inequality.
According to the World Ultra Wealth Report 2018 released by WEALTH-X on
September 5, the ultra high net worth population in Bangladesh was growing at the rate of 17.3 per cent over the five years from 2012 to 2017.
China is in the second position with 13.4 per cent growth of ultra rich population ranking followed by Vietnam (12.7 per cent), Kenya (11.7 per cent), India (10.7 per cent), Hong Kong (9.3 per cent), Ireland (9.1 per cent), Israel (8.6 per cent), Pakistan (8.4 per cent) and the United States (8.1 per cent).
The Wealth-X also provides an in-depth analysis of the world’s ultra high net worth population, an exclusive group of wealthy individuals located across the globe, each with a net worth of $30m or more.
Economists noted that this was not good news for the country because of the widening inequality.
Former Dhaka University economics department head MA Taslim said that the ultra rich population in the country was increasing at the cost of the poor.
He noted that the average household income as per the latest Household Income and Expenditure Survey released in 2016 was decreasing.
The report showed that Gini co-efficient, used to measure income inequality, increased to 0.483 at national level in 2016 from 0.458 in 2010.
This meant that the rich became richer while the poor poorer during the period, Taslim added.
The top 10 per cent households of Bangladesh held 38.16 per cent of national income in 2016, up from 35.84 per cent in 2010 while only 1.01 per cent of the income went to the bottom 10 per cent households in 2016 against 2 per cent six years ago, said the report.
Dhaka University economics teacher Selim Raihan, also the South Asian Network on Economic Modelling executive director, said that the Wealth-X disclosures showed what was happening in Bangladesh actually.
The concentrating of wealth is limited among few people as the economic growth of over 6 per cent over the past decade had not been distributed equally, he said.
Only few people including those linked with ruling party politics are benefitted from the skewed economic growth, he said.
The economists said that the country’s overall economy was running well against the backdrop of stagnation in private sector investment and capital flight reported by international research organisations.
Another US firm Global Financial Integrity in its report released on May 1, 2017 said that illicit capital flight from Bangladesh was on the rise from 2007 and continued until 2013 when the highest $9.66 billion was siphoned off.
According to data from the WEALTH-X report, the ultra wealthy global population expanded strongly in 2017, rising by 12.9 per cent to 255,810 individuals, a sharp acceleration from the growth of 3.5 per cent in 2016 and reflected more favourable conditions for wealth creation amid volatile geopolitics.
Wealth creation in 2017 was most prevalent in Asia, with its ultra wealthy population expanding by 18.5 per cent its collective net worth surging by almost 27 per cent.
The region’s share of the global ultra wealthy population rose to 26.5 per cent, up from around 18 per cent a decade ago, driven by developments in the large and vibrant economies of China, Hong Kong and India, which each registered an increase in wealth of more than 30 per cent, said the report.
Latin America and the Caribbean enjoyed a strong bounce-back in their ultra wealthy population and combined wealth after a dismal 2016, and there were also impressive double-digit gains in the Pacific and Europe.
The world’s largest wealth hub, North America, recorded a solid rise in ultra high net worth population individuals and total net worth but growth was moderately weaker than the global average.
Wealth creation was relatively subdued in Africa and in the Middle East, although this was still a clear improvement for both regions compared with developments in 2016. 

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