China May Become Home to Half the Millionaires in 10 Major Asian Economies

China’s millionaires may account for about half of the rich people across 10 major economies in Asia and hold more than half of the wealth by 2015, according to a study by Julius Baer Group and CLSA Asia Pacific Markets.

The millionaires will more than double in number to 2.8 million, with 1.4 million high net worth people in China, according to a report released yesterday that covered China, India, Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines and Malaysia.

Chinese millionaires will hold $8.76 trillion of the $15.81 trillion that these countries’ rich are expected to have, it said.

“In terms of the overall amounts of wealth that will increase, it’s very much a China story,” Stefan Hofer, emerging market equity strategist at Julius Baer, said yesterday at a press conference held in Hong Kong.

China, the world’s fastest-growing major economy, had 502,000 millionaires last year, according to the report. State and private investments helped drive a 9.5 percent expansion in second-quarter gross domestic product, the government said in July, as growth in industrial output and retail sales accelerated and copper and aluminum production reached records.

Of course Australia will receive enormous benefits as we supply about one third of China’s requirements of resources.

Currency Gains

The almost tripling of millionaires’ assets in the 10 nations from $5.6 trillion in 2010 will be also driven by currency appreciation in the region, adding to the economic growth and gains in asset values, according to the report.

The currency gains may create 600,000 new high net worth individuals, or people with more than $1 million of investible assets excluding their primary residence, by 2015, it said.

The number of millionaires in China grew by 12 percent to 534,500 last year, according to a report by Capgemini SA and Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management in June. China ranked fourth in terms of the rich population, trailing the U.S., Japan and Germany.

It is also possible that Australia will become the “playground” of many of these wealthy Chinese as the look to holiday in neighbouring countries. After all that’s what the Japanese did in their hey day in the 1980’s.

Source: Bloomberg


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