The world’s richest fortune lost $10.1 trillion last year

WORLD: According to a study released Wednesday, the world’s ultra-rich will see their fortunes shrink by 10% in 2022 as a result of the Ukraine conflict, but the outlook for them this year is positive.

The study, conducted by London-based property consultants Knight Frank, looked at the fortunes of ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs): people with a net worth of at least $30 million, including their primary residence.

“Challenging markets meant that the majority of UHNWIs saw their wealth decline last year, with their collective wealth falling by 10%,” the report said, adding that this equated to $10.1 trillion.

“Last year’s Ukraine crisis fueled Europe’s energy crisis and exacerbated already high inflation,” said Liam Bailey, global head of research at Knight Frank. “As a result, 2022 saw one of the sharpest increases in global interest rates in history,” he continued.

Although four out of ten ultra-wealthy saw their wealth increase in 2022, “the overwhelming trend was negative,” according to the report. That was unsurprising given the rise in interest rates used by several central banks to combat inflation, it added.

The ultra-rich in Europe were hit the hardest, with a 17 percent drop in fortunes, followed by Australia at 11% and the Americas at 10%. Africa and Asia fared better, with percentage drops of 5% and 7%, respectively.

“Exchange rates had a significant impact,” wrote the report’s executive editor, Flora Harley. “The dollar’s strength was unrivaled, driven by the Federal Reserve’s unwavering commitment to one of the fastest rate hike cycles in history,” she added.

According to Bailey, “significant risks” remain in the global economy. However, “market sentiment will shift quickly later this year, and investors must be well-positioned to take advantage of the authentic opportunities emerging across global real estate markets,” according to the report.

According to Knight Frank, 69 percent of wealthy investors expect their portfolios to grow this year.

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