Africa, The World’s Fastest-Growing Region For The Ultra-Rich

Africa, The World’s Fastest-Growing Region For The Ultra-Rich
Eden Island, Seychelles

AFRICANGLOBE – Looking at the figures coming out of the Knight Frank 2015 Wealth Report it’s easy to understand why global luxury brands such as Prada, Burberry and Jimmy Choo are falling over themselves to establish a presence on the continent.

According to the report, the number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWI) in Africa with an asset base worth over $30 million (R371 million) is expected to grow by 59% over the next decade, superceding the projected global growth rate of 34%.

There are 172,850 UHNWI’s in the world and collectively, they’re worth $20.8 trillion and own commercial property investments worth $153 billion.

While predictable countries like South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Angola and Kenya continue to dominate as far as individual net worth is concerned, the report reveals some of the African countries where exponential individual wealth growth is expected over the next decade.

If forecasts are accurate, luxury brands should consider doing business in the Ivory Coast as the number of UHNWIs is expected to grow by 119% by 2024. Other African countries to watch include Ethiopia and Tanzania.

“Africa is one of the regions of the world with huge potential to grow its wealth, driven by a rising middle class and the increased success of many businesses. Importantly, reforms in many countries are being expedited, infrastructure is happening at a startling pace and foreign investors are noticing,” says Margaret Nienaber, Standard Bank Wealth and Investment global CEO.

Johannesburg and Cape Town are the only African cities to feature among the list of the top 40 cities around the world, ranked 28th – ahead of Istanbul, Berlin and Washington DC – and 36th respectively.

London and New York remain the top global cities for business and lifestyle.

Wealth growth among MINT nations (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey) is expected to marginally outperform BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) by 76% compared to BRICS’ 72%.

While luxury property is a key investment component to rich people’s wealth portfolio, the report reveals that 68% of the continent’s super-wealthy individuals prefer to invest in tangible luxury goods like classic cars, art, jewellery and fine wine.

Coloured diamonds have become a popular choice among the wealthy and their value has climbed 167% over the past 10 years.

“Because of their rarity, these generally pink, yellow or blue stones command very high prices at auction and seem to fall more readily into the category of investments of passion,” says report editor Andrew Shirley.

The Mellon Blue Diamond set a new world auction record fetching $32.6 million at a Sotheby’s auction held in New York last year.

Surprisingly, stamp collecting has also become a noted investment pastime among the world’s richest, particularly Commonwealth stamps.

In Africa, stamp collection is expected to grow by 14% compared to the global rate of 3%.


By: Thandi Skade