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Survey counts the millionaires

About 24,000 people in Switzerland last year joined the exclusive circle of millionaires, according to Merril Lynch.

The United States financial management company said there were 243,000 dollar millionaires in Switzerland in 2010, a ten per cent rise on the previous year.

Merril Lynch said in its global report published on Wednesday that the significant increase in millionaires in Switzerland was due to two main factors: the rise in the strength of the franc compared to the dollar and the buoyant Swiss economy.

Worldwide, there were 10.9 million people who had available assets of at least $1 million (SFr835,682), an increase of 8.3 per cent on 2009.

Altogether, they hold a record $42.7 billion. Merril Lynch said the number of Asian millionaires (3.3 million) overtook the European group (3.1 million) last year.

Asians also controlled more money than Europeans: $10.8 billion against $10.2 billion. However, North American millionaires still led the pack: the 3.4 million millionaires in the United States, Canada and Mexico had accumulated $11.6 billion. and agencies


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