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Millionaires on the move: India may lose 8,000 HNWIs in 2022, among top 10 countries in emigration by millionaires

India is among the top 10 countries witnessing outflow of millionaires. And the top 10 list includes Russia, China, India, Hong Kong, Ukraine, Brazil, the UK, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia.

June 14, 2022 / 12:30 PM IST

India may see the exodus of 8,000 high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) in 2022, at least 14% more than three years ago, indicating the accelerating pace of emigration by millionaires. 

 According to Global citizenship planning firm Henley and Partners, India is among the 10 countries from where the highest emigration of HNWIs is predicted this year. 

 The top 10 countries witnessing millionaires on the move are Russia, China, India, Hong Kong, Ukraine, Brazil, the UK, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia. 

 “India is expected to suffer a net loss of approximately 8,000 HNWIs in 2022, up 14% since 2019 when the net loss was 7,000,” Henley and Partners said in a global citizenship report. 

 No country-specific figures are available for 2020 and 2021 owing to Covid-19 lockdowns and travel restrictions. 

The silver lining is that India produces far more new millionaires than it loses to emigration each year, it added. 

Henley and Partners revealed that it has received the highest number of investment migration program enquiries on record in the first quarter of 2022 — an increase of 55% compared to the previous quarter, which was itself record-breaking. 

“The top four nationalities currently driving demand are Russians, Indians, Americans, and Brits. For the first ever, Ukrainians are in the top 10 globally” in terms of making enquiries seeking to move out. 

Global Scenario 

As expected, Russia has experienced the biggest emigration of millionaires over the past six months, with forecast net outflows of 15,000 by the end of 2022 — a massive 15% of its HNWI population and 9,500 more than in 2019. 

Russia’s war with Ukraine is “in turn driving a steep spike in outgoing HNWIs from Ukraine, which is predicted to suffer its highest net loss in the country’s history — 2,800 millionaires (42% of its HNWI population) and a net loss of 2,400 more than 2019,” the report said. 

From Hong Kong, HNWI departures continue albeit at a slower pace, with a projected net millionaire outflows of 3,000 in 2022 (a 29% drop compared to 2019). Brazil’s millionaire exodus is intensifying with net outflows of 2,500 HNWIs predicted — up 79% compared to 2019. 

Wealth emigration is beginning to hurt China, with net outflows of 10,000 HNWIs expected in 2022, Henley and Partners said. 

“As the world economy grows, economies in Africa, Latin America, and elsewhere in the Global South are catching up with high-income economies. And as this report shows, they will see a more significant number of millionaires and billionaires in the next decade,” said the report.  

“For example, the number of HNWIs in Sri Lanka is forecast to increase by 90% by 2031, while India and Mauritius’s millionaire growth is forecast at 80%, and China’s at 50%, compared to 20% in the USA and 10% in France, Germany, Italy, and the UK.” 

In contrast, the United Arab Emirates has become the focus of intense interest among affluent investors and is expected to see the highest net influx of HNWIs globally in 2022, with 4,000 forecast — a dramatic increase of 208% versus 2019’s net inflow of 1,300 and one of its largest on record. 

“The 2022 forecast reflects an extremely volatile environment worldwide. By the end of the year, 88,000 millionaires are expected to have relocated to new countries, 22,000 fewer than in 2019 when 110,000 moved,” said Juerg Steffen, chief executive of Henley and Partners. 

“Next year, the largest millionaire migration flows on record are predicted — 125,000 — as affluent investors and their families earnestly prepare for the new post-COVID world, with an as yet-to-be revealed rearrangement of the global order, and the ever-present threat of climate change as a constant backdrop,” Steffen added. 

Prashant K Nanda
Prashant K Nanda is an Associate Editor at Moneycontrol .