Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 June, 2022 at 1:05 pm by Andre Camilleri
Some 300 millionaires are expected to move to Malta this year, according to articles that appear on the Henley and Partners website.
“Forecast figures in the Henley Global Citizens Report show the top 10 countries in terms of net inflows of High-net-worth individual (HNWIs) in 2022 will be the UAE, Australia, Singapore, Israel, Switzerland, the US, Portugal, Greece, Canada, and New Zealand. Large numbers of millionaires are also expected to move to ‘the three Ms’: Malta, Mauritius, and Monaco. On the flip side, the 10 countries where the highest net outflows of HNWIs are predicted are Russia, China, India, Hong Kong, Ukraine, Brazil, the UK, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia,” an article appearing on its website reads.
Henley & Partners are the main advocates and concessionaires for Malta’s controversial golden passport scheme. Malta is currently subject to European infringement proceedings owing to the scheme, though the government continues to defend it, saying that the matter of citizenship is one of national competence.
An investigation into the scheme – titled The Passport Papers – exposed how golden passport applicants used links which were tenuous at best in order to justify their ties to Malta as they sought to gain citizenship, often times submitting documents much akin to a tourist visit as proof of their “genuine links” to the country and renting the cheapest possible apartments which would then remain vacant.
The investigation, which The Malta Independent was a part of, was shortlisted for an IJ4EU Impact Award.
Dr. Juerg Steffen, CEO of Henley & Partners, said: “HNWI migration was a rising trend over the past decade until, understandably, it dipped in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The 2022 forecast reflects an extremely volatile environment worldwide. By the end of the year, 88,000 millionaires are expected to have relocated to new countries, 22,000 fewer than in 2019 when 110,000 moved. Next year, the largest millionaire migration flows on record are predicted – 125,000 – as affluent investors and their families earnestly prepare for the new post-Covid world, with an as yet-to-be revealed rearrangement of the global order, and the ever-present threat of climate change as a constant backdrop.”
Henley and Partners said that a ‘tsunami’ of private capital has left Russia and the Ukraine.
“As expected, Russia has suffered the biggest emigration of millionaires over the past six months, with forecast net outflows of 15,000 by the end of 2022 – a massive 15% of its HNWI population and 9,500 more than in 2019, pre-pandemic,” it says. There is also a spike in HNWIs leaving Ukraine due to the war, it reads, and Ukraine “is predicted to suffer its highest net loss in the country’s history – 2,800 millionaires.
In an article penned by Andrew Amoils, Head of Research at New World Wealth, which appeared on the Henley and Partners website, he said, about Malta: “While not in the top 10 in 2022, Malta has been one of Europe’s great success stories of the past decade, not just in terms of millionaire migration but also in terms of overall wealth growth. It is currently one of the world’s fastest growing markets, with US dollar wealth growth of 87% between 2011 and 2021.”
“Its citizenship by naturalization process has brought substantial new wealth to the island nation and has been credited with propelling Malta’s strong growth in multiple sectors including financial services, IT, and real estate. Approximately 300 millionaires are expected to move to Malta in 2022,” Amoils wrote.
Russians have consistently made up the bulk of Malta’s golden passport applicants, however Malta has since suspended applications for people from Russia and Belarus in response to the war which both these countries have waged against Ukraine.
The action came after significant pressure both locally and abroad for Malta to stop issuing citizenship to Russian oligarchs, who may use Malta’s EU passport to circumvent international sanctions.
However, the government has continued to resist pressure to stop the programme completely.