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The world’s richest people, dubbed as ‘ultra-high net worth individuals’ (UHNWIs) have shed a cumulative wealth of $10 trillion or 10% from their net worth in 2022, due to global economic uncertainty, energy crisis and, geopolitical situations, a report by a London-based real estate consultancy firm Knight Frank has revealed.

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The wealthy people in Europe were at the centre of the crisis, losing an average of 17% from their fortunes, Knight Frank in its The Wealth Report 2023 said on Wednesday, while the Australia region recorded 11% drop and the America shed 10%. In comparison, Africa witnessed the smallest decline with 5%, followed by Asia and the Middle East at 7%, the report added.

According to Knight Frank, UHNWIs are those who possess a net worth of $30 million or more, including assets.

“The fall in wealth is unsurprising given the dramatic pivot in monetary policy that culminated in the worst performance for the traditional blended portfolio since the 1930s,” said Liam Bailey, Knight Frank’s head of research.

Global economic uncertainty — compounded by the Russia-Ukraine war and high inflation has stoked buoyancy globally.

“The Ukraine crisis fuelled the European energy crunch and supercharged already surging inflation. As a result, 2022 saw one of the sharpest upward movements in global interest rates in history, leading to economic conditions that Collins English dictionary neatly dubbed the ‘permacrisis’,” added Bailey.

Although 40% of the UHNWIs recorded an increase in their net worth in 2022, the overwhelming trend was negative for the world’s super-rich, driven by a change in residential and commercial property values, fixed income, investments of passion and other assets.

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However, one interesting development was highlighted in the report. It found that the ultra-luxury properties changed hands much more frequently. Houses above $25 million changed hands 43 times in London and New York.

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