Hong Kong households are the second richest in Asia per capita behind Japan, according to a bank survey released yesterday. The Citibank Asia-Pacific Consumer Wealth Review put total household wealth in Hong Kong at US$448 billion for last year. These assets have also experienced one of the fastest growth rates in household wealth in Asia over the past 10 years, the survey showed. Despite the growth, Hong Kong households still hold nearly half of their funds in low-yield cash and bank deposits. Hong Kong achieved an aggregate compound annual growth rate of 9.9 per cent in its household assets, and a per capita compound annual growth rate of 8 per cent. Comparatively, the 10-year aggregate compound annual growth rate in the United States is 4.8 per cent. Japan has the highest household assets per capita internationally at US$100,000, followed by the US at $98,000. In Asia, after Japan and Hong Kong ( $64,000), Singapore comes third at $50,000, followed by Australia with $45,000, Taiwan $34,000 and Korea $18,000. The survey examined the financial assets held by households in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea and Singapore. The assets did not include property. Vineet Vohra, regional director of Citibank's investment business in Asia-Pacific, said Hong Kong people were getting wealthier faster, in large part due to their high savings rate. 'The savings rate in the US is low, therefore their ability to value-add through investment is also lower. This is compounded by their high levels of consumption and debt,' he said. 'We are seeing the shift [in the region] from cash to non-cash then to professionally managed assets, which is a sign the market is evolving.' He also noted that the professionally managed component was the fastest growing in Asia. However, he pointed out that despite the growing trend towards more sophisticated financial assets, the reliance on cash and deposits in Hong Kong was still very high at 44 per cent, compared with 18 per cent in the US.