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China Stock Turmoil 2015

Stock market gains create extra one million millionaires in China, says global wealth report

Last year’s increase takes the nation’s total of US-dollar millionaires to four million, second only to the United States with seven million

PUBLISHED : Monday, 15 June, 2015, 12:34pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 08 July, 2015, 8:36pm

The population of US-dollar millionaires in China soared to four million last year as the country added the highest number of US-dollar millionaires amid the surging stock market, a study shows.

China, which added one million new millionaires last year, had the world’s second-largest such population in the world, following the United States’ seven million, according to the latest Global Wealth report released by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) on Monday.

Private wealth in China was driven mainly by investments in local equities, with the country’s equity market rising by 38 per cent, the annual report said.

Japan, in third place, had one million millionaire households last year, but the number was down from the previous year because of the fall in the yen against the US dollar, it said.

BCG defines millionaire households as those with more than US$1 million in private wealth, including cash, stocks and other financial investments, but not real estate, collectibles, business ownership or luxury goods.

Globally, the total number of millionaire households reached 17 million last year – an increase of 13 per cent compared with the 15 million recorded in 2013.

“The increase was driven primarily by the solid market performance of existing assets, both in developed and emerging markets,” the report said.

Last year, global private wealth grew by about 12 per cent to US$164 trillion. About 73 per cent, or US$13 trillion, of private wealth growth last year was generated by the market performance of existing assets, while the rest was newly created wealth.

The growth of private wealth in the Asia Pacific outperformed the global trend, with private wealth rising by 29 per cent last year to US$47 trillion to become the world’s second-wealthiest region.

“Growth in wealth in this region was driven heavily by the continued economic expansion of its two largest economies, China and India,” the report said.

North America, with US$51 trillion in private wealth, remained the richest region last year, while Europe dropped one spot to third place with US$40 trillion.

BCG estimated a compound annual rate growth of almost 10 per cent for private wealth in Asia Pacific, which will overtake North America as the world’s richest region next year with US$57 trillion in private wealth.