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Market falls prune UK millionaires

The number of millionaires in the UK fell last year as the stockmarkets tumbled.

A new report by Data-monitor shows the number of people with more than £1m in liquid assets was down by 1.4 per cent in 2001 at 68,700, from 69,600 in 2000.

High-net-worth individuals who had earned their wealth, as opposed to those who inherited it, were hardest hit, but millionaires were much less hard hit than people in the £100,000 to £250,000 asset band as the latter were most exposed to the technology sector.

The research predicts a rise in Muslim millionaires, with 5,400 high-net-worth Muslims with liquid assets of £3.6bn.

It also foresees an increase in the number of Sharia-compliant investment products.

Datamonitor reckons the number of UK millionaires will exceed 100,000 by 2006.

It also shows offshore tax havens are declining in importance for UK high-net-worth individuals, as money-laundering legislation makes them less attractive, with onshore wealth managers picking up the business.

Datamonitor global wealth analyst Nicholas Stephens says: “The market for Islamic Sharia-compliant equity and mortgage products in the UK is set to grow hugely.

“Muslims have historically been underserved by UK financial institutions but this is set to change.”

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