Report: 43% More Millionaires in Israel in 2009

Israel third in the world in relative growth rate after India, Hong Kong; Meryll Lynch defines millionaire as someone with at least $1 million liquid assets.

While the global financial crisis led to a 17 percent rise in the number of millionaires in the world in 2009, the number of Israeli millionaires increased by a whopping 43 percent last year, business consultant firm Capgemini and Merrill Lynch financial management advisory firm announced Tuesday.

Stacks of hundred dollar bills.

The drastic climb placed Israel as the country with the third highest growth rate of millionaires per capita, after India and Hong Kong.

Hong Kong saw the highest growth rate of millionaires, with 104 percent rise, while India saw a 50.9 percent rise. The countries with the most millionaires remained the United States, Germany and Japan.

During 2009 there were over 10 million millionaires throughout the world, holding together assets worth over $39 trillion, while in Israel there were 8,419 millionaires.

The climb is due to a 40 percent rise in the number of financial share holders in Israel's stock market, and in a 15.5 percent rise in real estate prices.

This is the 14th year in which Meryll Lynch has published a report on the world's millionaires, which they define as someone who has over $1 million in liquid and available assets, not including real estate investments. The report defines a multi-millionaire as someone whose fortune amounts to $30 million or more.

According to the report, there were 83 multi-millionaires in Israel in 2009, 10 more than those registered in 2008.