South Africa’s standing in the global wealth picture

PUBLISHED: Sat, 28 Apr 2018 18:23:16 GMT
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By Andrew Amoils, Head of Research, New World Wealth

As part of the AfrAsia Bank South Africa Wealth Report 2018we looked at where South Africa stands in the global wealth picture.

According to the report, SA ranks 33rd worldwide in terms of total wealth* and 38th worldwide in terms of number of high-net worth individuals (HNWIs** (as of Dec 2017)).

South Africa stats (at the end of 2017):

  • Total private wealth held in SA amounts to approximately US$722 billion. Around US$306 billion of this is held by HNWIs.
  • The average South African individual has net assets of US$12,900 (wealth per capita), which is the 2nd highest level in Africa, behind Mauritius.
  • SA is home to 43,600 HNWIs, each with net assets of US$1 million or more.
  • SA is home to 2,200 multimillionaires, each with net assets of US$10 million or more.
  • SA is home to 98 centi-millionaires, each with net assets of US$100 million or more.
  • SA is home to 5 billionaires, each with net assets of US$1 billion or more.

Worldwide stats (at the end of 2017):

  • Total private wealth held worldwide amounts to approximately US$215 trillion.
  • The average individual has net assets of US$28,400 (wealth per capita). Notably, affluent countries such as Monaco, Switzerland and Australia have wealth per capita’s of well over US$200,000. Average wealth per person (wealth per capita) in the United States is US$193,000.
  • There are approximately 15.2 million HNWIs in the world, each with net assets of US$1 million or more.
  • There are approximately 584,000 multi-millionaires in the world, each with net assets of US$10 million or more.
  • There are approximately 26,600 centi-millionaires in the world, each with net assets of US$100 million or more.
  • There are 2,252 billionaires in the world, each with net assets of US$1 billion or more.

Future prospects for SA:
Despite being only the fifth-largest country in Africa in terms of population and ninth-largest by land area, South Africa is by far the most advanced and richest country on the continent.

South Africa has over twice as many millionaires (HNWIs) as any other African country. Things that attract and keep HNWIs in SA include:

  • Lifestyle aspects: wildlife, beaches, weather and scenery.
  • A good private healthcare system.
  • Top class private schools for their children.
  • Top class shopping centers (examples: Sandton City, Gateway, Montecasino, V&A and Hyde Park).
  • English speaking country.
  • Fully developed luxury market, where most of the major luxury brands are available.
  • Large number of luxury holiday destinations within country (examples: Kruger Park, Cape Town, Umhlanga, Ballito, etc.).
  • Luxury food stores such as Woolworths, which appeal to wealthy consumers.
  • Well established luxury areas (Camps Bay, Hyde Park, Westcliff, Umhlanga etc.)
  • Over 100 luxury residential estates.
  • Efficient private security companies including: CSS Tactical, G4S, Fidelity ADT and CAP Security, which help keep affluent neighborhoods safe.

Going forward, South Africa has strong fundamentals for wealth growth including:

  • A well-developed wealth management, fund management and banking system.
  • A large free media which helps disseminate reliable information to investors. This sets South Africa apart from most other African markets.
  • One of the 20 biggest stock exchanges in the world. Also, the JSE has been one of the fastest growing stock markets worldwide over the past 25 years (in terms of market cap growth).
  • South Africa is a potential hub for doing business in the rest of Africa.

Notes: 

**“Millionaires” or “HNWIs” refer to individuals with wealth of US$1 million (R12 million) or more.
*“Wealth” refers to the net assets of a person. It includes all their assets (property, cash, equities, business interests) less any liabilities.

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