Roughly 7,400 people living in Israel have liquid assets worth over USD 1 million, among them 84 multimillionaires have fortunes worth over USD 30 million, according to the Merrill Lynch/Capgemini World Wealth Report 2005.
The number of Israeli millionaires grew by 12 percent and the number of multimillionaires leapt a whopping 20 percent since last year. The total liquid assets of Israel’s wealthy class grew by 25 percent to sum USD 30 billion.
The number of Israeli millionaires per capita was twice the world average. Uri Goldfarb, vice president of Merrill Lynch Israel for private banking, said that the increase in the number of multimillionaires (20 percent) was significantly higher than the world growth rate of 8.5 percent.
The wealth report reveals that in 2005, three Israelis joined the list of the top 500 richest people in the world – lifting the number of Israelis gracing the list to nine.
Nine richest Israelis in the world:
- Shari Arison (holder of controlling interest of Bank Hapoalim): USD 5 billion
- Stef Wertheimer and his familty (Iscar owners): USD 3.5 billion
- Ofer family (Israel Corporation and Bank Mizrahi): USD 3 billion
- Haim Saban (Bezeq owner, made fortune in communications and entertainment): USD 2.8 billion
- Lev Leviev (holder of controlling interest of Africa Israel): USD 2.6 billion
- Yitzhak Tshuva (holder of controlling interest of Delek group): USD 2 billion
- Benny Steinmetz (real estate and diamonds): USD 1.5 billion
- Morris Kahn (founder of Amdocs and Golden Pages): USD 1 billion
- Judith and Jacob Richter (Medinol founders): USD 1 billion
By next year, Stef and Eitan Wertheimer are expected to overtake Arison and reach first place as Israel’s richest people. Their fortune after selling Iscar is estimated at over USD 7 billion. In addition businessmen defined as “oligarchs” and Arnon Milchan, who were included in Forbes’ list of the world’s wealthiest, were left off the current tally because they were not considered Israelis or because their wealth was not in available assets.
The report only considers millionaires whose fortune includes over USD 1 million in available assets, not considering money invested in fixed properties (such as real estate). The report also reveals that very few of Israel’s wealthiest dropped off the list since last year.
In the world
According to the report, the total fortune of all the world’s millionaires equaled USD 33.3 trillion in 2005 – an increase of 8.5 percent compared to 2004.
In 2005 the number of millionaires in the world grew by 6.5 percent to USD 8.7 million, and the number of multimillionaires grew by 10.2 percent to reach 85,400.