Meet Myanmar’s New Rich One Percent (WSJ)

A lengthy article in the Wall Street Journal profiles Myanmar’s rich as the country follows a trail blazed earlier by countries like Russia, Vietnam and China that unlocked new wealth when they embraced elements of capitalism after decades of isolation. Wealth-X, a consultancy that specializes in tracking the rich, says there are currently only about 40 individuals considered ultra-high-net worth in Myanmar, with a net worth of over $30 million. But it says this number could grow by more than seven times in the next decade—the fastest such pace of growth anywhere in the world, the consultancy says.

Signs of a New Money boom are already appearing as now showrooms boast black Rolls Royce sedans and Jaguar sports cars while prices for prime real estate in Yangon, Myanmar’s commercial capital, are skyrocketing. Myanmar is also popping up on the radar screens of private wealth managers and luxury-goods brands hungry for a new source of growth at a time when China is slowing down.

The problem is that too few of Myanmar’s rich want to spend money on developing their passions, and would rather spend it frivolously in nightclubs. Moreover, investments in public amenities like art galleries or public parks, much less major philanthropic initiatives, remain scant.

To read the whole article, Meet the New Rich…in Myanmar, go to the website of the Wall Street Journal.

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