London (CNN Business) – Millionaires have been flocking out of Russia since the invasion of Ukraine and Western sanctions on the country.
Almost three times more Russian millionaires are expected to leave the country this year than in 2019, the year before the pandemic, according to a report by Henley & Partners, a company that helps wealthy clients relocate abroad.
As Western sanctions make life difficult for the elite, Russia is expected to suffer a net loss of about 15,000 High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs), defined as people with assets of more than $1 million, in 2022, compared to By 5,500 in 2022. 2019, according to the report. This equates to about 15% of Russia’s population of millionaires, he said.
Russia is suffering from a “millionaire hemorrhage,” said Andrew Amwells, head of research at analysis firm New World Wealth, which contributed data to the report.
“The wealth migration numbers are a very important indicator of the health of the economy,” he told CNN Business.
“It can also be a sign of bad things going on, as the wealthy are often the first to go… If you look at the collapse of any big country in history, it is usually preceded by the emigration of the rich out of that country,” he added.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed the report in a phone call with reporters on Tuesday, saying the Russian government “did not notice.” [una] The trend of “millionaires leaving the country.
Migration rates among Russia’s rich and powerful fell sharply in 2020 and 2021 as the COVID-19 pandemic closed international travel and borders.
But the trend of wealthy people leaving the country seen in the decade before the pandemic has resumed, and is now accelerating since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February. According to the International Monetary Fund, the Russian economy is expected to contract by 8.5% this year.
The West has imposed round after round of sanctions on Moscow, including the expulsion of some Russian banks from SWIFT, the global payments network, and the freezing of about half of the country’s international reserves. Dozens of Western companies, including some luxury retailers, have ceased doing business in the country.
The exodus of millionaires this year is expected to be more than nine times what it was in 2021, according to data from Henley & Partners.
“Long before the sanctions were imposed … there was a tsunami of capital leaving the country, due in large part to President Vladimir Putin’s increasingly volatile style of rule and his demands for loyalty to middle-class and wealthy Russians,” Misha Glenny, author and journalist , wrote in an analysis of Henley & Company.
This year, most Russian immigrants are expected to move to southern European countries, where many of them already own second homes. But the UAE has proven increasingly attractive to the country’s wealthy, in part due to its zero tax rate.
The UAE is set to overtake the US and UK as the number one destination for mobile millionaires this year. Henley & Partners expects the country to welcome 4,000 ultra-rich people by the end of the year, up from the 1,000 arriving in the country each year before the pandemic.
Amwells said elites were drawn to the UAE as an “international business hub with a high-income economy” that had a “reputable reputation as a safe oasis in the Middle East and Africa.”
The number of wealthy people in the world grew nearly 8% last year, according to a study by tech consultancy Capgemini, which uses the same million-dollar threshold as Henley & Partners.
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