A roaring stock market and strong economic conditions helped swell the ranks of global millionaires by 500,000 last year to 7.7 million, a survey showed today.

The survey showed the number of “high net worth individuals” (HNWIs) rose by 7.5 per cent, while their assets grew by 7.7 per cent to $US28.8 trillion.

The survey counts those with $US1 million in assets, excluding real estate.

The report by Capgemini and Merrill Lynch showed a return to levels of wealth prior to recessions in North America and Europe as a result of improving conditions in 2003.

“If 2002 was a ‘lost year’ for HNWI investors, then global financial markets recovered most of these losses by the end of 2003, which had a restorative effect on investor confidence and HNWI wealth,” said the 2004 World Wealth Report.

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