Asia Pacific sees leap in high net worth individuals
21 September 2012
News, Asia, China, Global, Hong Kong, India, Thailand
By Hui Ching-hoo
The number of high net worth individuals (HNWIs) in the Asia Pacific has increased by 1.6% year on year, to reach 3.37 million, surpassing North American for the first time, according to a report released by RBC Wealth Management and Capgemini on Wednesday (September 19). The growth rate is double the global growth rate for 2011.
The report attributes the gains to healthy GDP growth in the region and a strong entrepreneurial base. HNWIs are defined as those having investable assets of US$1 million or more, excluding primary residence, collectibles, and consumer durables.
The report added that the Asia Pacific had seven of the top 20 fastest-growing HNWI populations globally in 2011, though the figure was down from eight in 2010 and 14 in 2009. The growth rate across the region was steady but uneven, with robust growth in Thailand (12.8%), Indonesia (8.2%), China (5.2%), and Japan (4.8%) offsetting significant declines in the key markets of India (of 18%) and Hong Kong (of 17.4%), both had led growth in the last two years.
Separately, the report expressed expectations that Chinese wealth would quadruple by 2025, adding that China’s growth is still the strongest among almost every other country, with the nation remaining on track to reach high-income status before 2030.
At the launch of the report in Beijing, RBC Global Asset Management CEO John Montalbano told Asia Asset Management that the period between 2007 and 2009, the global financial crisis, had a very profound impact on investors in the region, especially in China – where equities suffered as a result of some very volatile market conditions. “Now we’ve started to see further strength and stability in the equities market, and investors throughout Asia are likely to become quite aggressive in equities again,” he said.
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