Asset rich, cash poor. Romanians are wealthier than most neighboring nations but mainly due to home ownership, Credit Suisse says

Sorin Melenciuc 23/10/2019 | 17:34

Romanians are now wealthier than all neighboring nations with the exception of Hungarians, but they are generally asset rich – cash poor, according to a fresh Credit Suisse report.

In 2019, the wealth per adult in Romania is estimated at USD 43,074, compared with USD 44,321 in Hungary, USD 42,686 in Bulgaria, USD 27,381 in Russia, USD 25,046 in Serbia, USD 8,792 in Ukraine and USD 12,804 in Moldova, Credit Suisse’s “Global Wealth 2019” report indicates.

But the wealth structure includes mostly non-financial assets (USD 35,750 per adult), while the financial assets are of USD 9,965 per adult in Romania (compared with USD 24,514 per adult in Hungary or USD 26,073 in Bulgaria).

This high reliance on non-financial assets is due to the high home ownership rate in Romania, of 96 percent, among the highest rates in the world.

In the same time, the Romanians are less indebted than other European nations, with a total debt of only USD 2,641 per adult in 2019.

However, the Romanians remain much poorer than Western European nations like Britons (USD 280,049 per adult), French (USD 276,121), or Germans (USD 216,654).

Romania has had a very fast growth over the last two decades, but started out from a very low base.

In 2000, Romania had a wealth per adult of only USD 4,932, much lower than that of Hungary (USD 12,054), Argentina (USD 13,536) or Mexico (USD 21,618), as widespread poverty and corruption were the norm.

But this year, Romanians are considered almost four times wealthier than the Argentinians, twice as wealthier than the Russians or the Brazilians, according to Credit Suisse.

However, Romanian nationals are still less wealthy than the Poles (USD 57,873 per adult) or the Czechs (USD 64,663).

According to Credit Suisse, Romania has around 32,000 millionaires and 1.14 million adults with net assets over USD 100,000.

The total wealth of Romanians is USD 668 billion this year, compared to USD 346 billion in the case of Hungarians or USD 243 billion for Bulgarians, Credit Suisse says.

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