12/07/2018, 16.11
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Thailand rejects global study that claims wealth gap widest in Thailand

According to a Swiss bank, the richest 1 per cent of the population controls 66.9 per cent of nation’s wealth. The poorest 50 per cent owns 1.7 per cent, whilst the bottom 70 per cent has 5 per cent. Government spokesman says report is based on "outdated information” and is incomplete and unreliable.

Bangkok (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Thailand has overtaken Russia and India as the most unequal country in the world, this according to the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Databook 2018 of 40 countries. Thailand’s government dismissed the findings, claiming that the gap between rich and poor actually narrowed.

Two years ago, Thailand ranked third in the Credit Suisse report. In 2016, 1 per cent (500,000 people) of the population owned 58 per cent of the country's wealth. This year, it controls 66.9 per cent, more than in Russia, where the share of wealth held by the top 1 per cent dropped from 78 per cent to 57.1 per cent.

Meanwhile, Meanwhile, 50 per cent of the poorest Thais (25 million people) owned 1.7 per cent of the country’s wealth whilst 70 per cent (35 million) controlled 5 per cent.

By comparison, the richest people in Turkey control 54.1 per cent of that nation’s wealth despite the economic crisis that recently hit the country.

India has dropped to fourth place, with its wealthiest’ share go from 58.4 per cent to 51.5 per cent.

In no other nation does the top 1 per cent control more than half of the country’s wealth.

Reacting to the Credit Suisse report, the Thai government rejected its findings, claiming that it is based on "outdated information",

Government spokesman Buddhipongse Punnakanta said today that the study was based on data from 2006 and had insufficient information about the present situation. Hence, the information was incomplete and unreliable.

The report used data from the Bank of Thailand and the International Monetary Fund, but this data did not show any assets possessed by the one-per cent richest Thai people.

In fact, inequality in Thailand was gradually being reduced. The income gap between the richest and the poorest groups narrowed from 29.92 times in 2006 to 19.29 in 2017, Mr Buddhipongse said.

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