A golfer tees off near a high-rise luxury apartment block under construction in Noida, India (Photographer: Pankaj Nangia/Bloomberg News)  

Super Rich Indians' Love of Stocks Dwarfs Rest of the World

(Bloomberg) -- Wealthy Indians are buying stocks hand over fist, eclipsing the strong appetite for equities seen across the world, according to a Knight Frank study.

Some 95 percent of India’s population with net assets of $50 million or more lifted their holdings in the 12 months through October, compared with the 62 percent global average, the analysis showed. At the same time, they shunned historically favored assets from property to gold, which ranked among the investments seeing the smallest allocation increase for India’s rich.

Equities have been a great choice -- the global index is up 17 percent over the past year and India’s Sensex is 14 percent higher. The allure of gold and property has faded following the government’s crackdown on unaccounted wealth in 2016. Once Asia’s top real-estate market, India has witnessed a sharp drop in sales following the cash ban, new consumer protection laws and the roll-out of a nationwide sales tax.

At 17 percent, property investments was among the lowest contributing factor that led to an increase in wealth among Indians. That compares with 30 percent for Asia and 50 percent globally, according to Knight Frank’s annual wealth report released Wednesday.

India’s ultra-wealthy population, defined as those with net assets of $500 million or more, grew 18 percent between 2016-2017, compared with an 11 percent rise globally. By the end of 2022 those in that super-rich category will have swelled to 340 people, a 70 percent jump, the report estimated.

(A previous version of this story was corrected because of an error in wealth category definition.)

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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