Some facts from life of local millionaires

According to the data, nearly 20,000 people in Belarus have more than $1 million. Experts consider that there should be more rich people
By Yelena Spasyuk

According to the data, nearly 20,000 people in Belarus have more than $1 million. Experts consider that there should be more rich people.

Dollar millionaires in Belarus make 0.2 percent of the population. “It practically coincides with worldwide average indicator. Thus Belarus does not have a problem of social inequality, and it is impossible to call the fortune of rich people of the country astronomical,” considers Alexey Matsukin, the Head of Minsk A-Club of Alfa-Bank JSC. The number of millionaires in Belarus has grown by 50 percent in the past two years, “It was a period of confident growth of capital, where even conservative tools of investment had high profitability according to world measures.”

The majority of millionaires live in Minsk. As a rule, they are owners of businesses, beneficiaries and partners-managers. Wage workers are seldom found among the wealthy millionaires. Well-to-do men actively use bank tools, first of all depositary tools. According to the expert, the overwhelming majority of millionaires are ethnic Belarusians. But there are also a lot of private investors from Russia, Great Britain, Spain and France. There are also millionaires from Egypt, India and other countries. In Belarus, one in 473 people is a millionaire, in Russia one in 798, one in 221 in Germany and in Switzerland one in 45. According to Forbes, the majority of millionaires live in the USA and Japan.

In general, we don’t have so many millionaires, and $1 million today is not as huge a sum as it was 10 years ago. Some experts note, ‘There should be more Dollar millionaires in Belarus in order that the domestic market was capable to develop at the expense of their capital’. Thus they note, ‘The use of stimulation methods of the domestic market and the increase of money supply and rates of crediting increases well-being firstly to those who already possess capital and know the mechanisms of the banking and financial systems. Generally speaking, money makes money’.

At the same time, the difference between the income of the poorest and richest residents of Belarus is insignificant. In 2013, the average per capita disposable income of the top 10 percent of the most of well off people and 10 percent of the most poor, differed by 5.9 times. In Russia this indicator was 16.4 times, in Armenia — 15.9 and Moldova — 15.2, with the world average at around — 10-12 times.

According to the National Statistical Committee of the Republic of Belarus, the growth of monetary income in Belarus during 2013 was accompanied by a low degree of differentiation. The amount of monetary income of the population was derived from salaries, which occupied 64 percent (63.9 percent in 2012), income from entrepreneurial activity and other activity was about 10.6 percent (10.5 percent), transfers of population occupied 20.5 percent (20.7 percent), incomes from property was about 4 percent and other incomes — 1 percent.

The state should value citizens possessing capital, and should create an investment climate which allows money to be put into circulation. But experts believe that currently, there are no such conditions in Belarus. Therefore, the millionaires stay in the background. Mr. Matsukin, the Head of Minsk A-Club, characterises the way of life of the average Belarusian millionaire: ‘The majority of them are calm and modest people. They are well-read, are interested in history and culture and collect objects of art’.

Experts consider that it is bad for society, when people with money are treated with suspicion. “On the contrary, it is necessary to aspire to become a millionaire and to follow their cue. Then there will be progress. In other words, it is good, when there are more rich people and less poor people,” considers Georgy Badey, the honourable Chairman of the Business Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers (named after Kunyavsky).
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