SEPTEMBER 23 2012 18:46h
ZAGREB, Sept 23 (Hina) -With gross financial assets of EUR 9,720 per capita, Croatia is the leader among non-EU countries of the Eastern Europe region, but it also ranks first in terms of debt, with liabilities of EUR 4,240 per capita, according to the Global Wealth Report 2012 by the Allianz insurance company, which analysed the assets and liabilities of private households in over 50 countries.
In terms of net financial assets, Croatia ranked 31st with EUR 5.482 per capita. The ranking was topped by Switzerland, with EUR 138,062 per capita, followed by Japan with EUR 93.087 and the United States with EUR 90,417.
Neighbouring Slovenia placed 23rd with EUR 14,049 of net financial assets per capita, the Czech Republic was 26th with EUR 9,408, Romania 32nd with EUR 5,343, Hungary 33th with EUR 5,224 and Poland 35th with EUR 4,153 per capita.
"The report shows that the marked recovery in financial assets witnessed in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2007/08 came to an abrupt standstill last year: net per capita financial assets increased by only 0.6% in 2011, as against 7.8% and 9.7% in the years 2009 and 2010. This disappointing development is due primarily to low growth in gross financial assets: although the EUR 100 trillion mark was surpassed in 2011 – also thanks to the weak euro – pushing the global financial assets of private households up to EUR 103.3 trillion in total, the growth rate came in at only 1.6% and in per capita terms at a mere 0.8%," Allianz said.
"It is obvious that uncertainty, low interest rates and the euro crisis have left their mark on asset development", Allianz chief economist Michael Heise said and added: "Savers are bearing the brunt of the fact that no real progress has yet been made as far as reorganizing the financial markets and solving the crisis in the eurozone are concerned."
Last year Croatia saw a considerable decline of 11.2% in net financial assets per capita, which were nearly 6% lower than its pre-crisis record in 2007. That was the result of a sharp rise in private debt in Croatia. With private debt of EUR 4,240 per capita, or 41.1% of GDP, Croatia is also the regional leader in terms of private debt.
However, with net financial assets of EUR 5,480 per capita, Croatia is still a middle-wealth country. As for high wealth (net financial assets of more than EUR 26,800 per capita) in Croatia, it is the reserve of only the top decile of the population (0.4 million people), the report said.