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WEALTH

China hits number three for growth of US dollar millionaires

PUBLISHED : Friday, 20 June, 2014, 12:59am
UPDATED : Friday, 20 June, 2014, 9:21am

Mainland China is the third-fastest at producing millionaires after Japan and Kuwait and ahead of Hong Kong and the US.

The world's second-largest economy last year experienced a 17.8 per cent growth in the number of people with more than US$1 million to invest, taking the total to 758,000, according to the World Wealth Report 2014 released yesterday by Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management. The report tracks the world's wealthiest people in 71 countries.

The pace of growth on the mainland was higher than the global average of 15 per cent.

Michael Yong-Haron, managing director and head of North Asia of RBC Wealth Management, said the mainland and other emerging markets gained from strong economic and stockmarket growth last year.

"Strong growth in Asia, Japan and the US has created more new high-net-worth individuals. Almost 40 per cent of high-net-worth wealth has been created in only the past five years," said Yong-Haron. He believed the mainland would continue to churn out high-net-worth individuals as quickly in future.

In terms of absolute numbers, however, the mainland still has a long way to go. The country's wealthy represent only 5.5 per cent of the world's total of 13.7 million who qualify for that tag.

The US, ranked sixth in terms of the pace of growth in the number of rich individuals - at 16.6 per cent - topped the list in terms of absolute numbers, with four million.

Simon Ng, managing director of RBC Wealth Management Hong Kong, said a 22 per cent rise in the number of rich last year secured Japan's place at the top in terms of growth, largely because of a strong stock market rally.

The number in Hong Kong grew 9.4 per cent to 124,000, the pace slowing from the heady 27 per cent growth in the previous five years when the city held the crown. Ng said the drop in the growth rate resulted from a high base of comparison.

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