China home to the most super-rich in Asia

Hong Kong third in global city rankings

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 March, 2016, 7:56pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 March, 2016, 7:56pm

Mainland China had the largest population of super-rich in Asia last year, according to a survey, and it’s predicted to grow another 75 per cent in the next 10 years.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong was the Asian city that was home to the most super-rich.

The number of mainland Chinese ultra-high-net-worth individuals – those with a net worth of more than US$30 million – grew threefold in 10 years to 13,013 last year, second only to the United States worldwide, a report released by property consultancy Knight Frank on Wednesday said.

Hong Kong was home to 3,854 super-rich, in third place globally behind first-ranked London and New York.

However, most countries and regions, including mainland China and Hong Kong, saw the number of super-rich dwindle last year.

“This downward shift reflected slower economic growth and the more volatile financial climate,” Knight Frank analysts said in the report. “The rate of global economic growth slowed in 2015, while growth in equity, commodity and other asset prices also decelerated.”

The past decade has seen remarkable growth in cross-border investment by individuals
Taimur Khan, Knight Frank

The world’s super-rich population shrank by 3 per cent last year, the report said, with nearly 6,000 of the 187,468 ultra-high-net-worth individuals in 2014 sliding out of the super-rich club.

But the outlook for Asia is bullish, with the report forecasting the ranks of Asia’s super-rich will expand by 66 per cent over the next decade, compared with 27 per cent growth in Europe.

Mainland China is expected to add 9,760 more individuals to the super-rich club – an increase of 75 per cent.

The number of Asian billionaires is forecast to surge 71 per cent to 832 by 2025, similar to the number in the US by then.

In terms of cities, the survey predicted Shanghai would eclipse Hong Kong over next 10 years given surging property prices in Shanghai on the back of continued urbanisation, a diverse and thriving service sector and a strong international community.

The report also found wealthy investors were more mobile than ever and were diversifying their portfolios by targeting new markets.

“The past decade has seen remarkable growth in cross-border investment by individuals, with property forming a significant part of the story,” said Taimur Khan, senior research analyst at Knight Frank.

Mainland China has led the massive growth in outward investment, with total investment jumping 1,471 per cent to US$1.01 trillion in the past decade.

Assets in key Western markets would continue to be targeted by super-rich Asian investors, the report said, particularly in property investment.

Education would be a driver for global property investment over next 10 years, it said, with 42 per cent of mainland Chinese super-rich planning to send their children overseas for secondary education.