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More join ranks of millionaires in S'pore
Publication Date : 26-09-2013
The number of millionaires in Singapore and their combined wealth increased last year but at a slower pace than almost everywhere else in the region.
Only Taiwan and Japan were slower than Singapore when it came to adding to the ranks of the rich and their combined wealth, according to a new wealth report.
It said the laggard pace here was due largely to "paltry" economic growth and softening real estate prices, which offset the standout performance of the share market.
The Straits Times Index gained 26.4 per cent last year but real gross domestic product (GDP) grew 1.3 per cent, down from 5.2 per cent in 2011, against a tough backdrop of weak export demand, while real estate prices were hit by a slew of cooling measures.
Even so, the number of high-net-worth individuals climbed 10.3 per cent to 101,000 last year while their combined wealth increased 11.5 per cent to US$489 billion, according to the report from RBC Wealth Management and Capgemini.
A high-net-worth individual is defined as a person with at least US$1 million in investable assets, excluding primary residence, collectibles and consumables.
"Singapore's equity market was one of the best performers last year. Overall, Singaporeans allocate about a quarter of their assets to equities and this led to the growth in terms of (the wealthy) population and (their) wealth," said Claire Sauvanaud, vice-president of Capgemini, Asia Pacific, on Wednesday.
Singapore's performance was put in the shade by Hong Kong and India, the two biggest wealth gainers in the Asia-Pacific.
Hong Kong's ranks of the rich grew 35.7 per cent and their wealth by 37.2 per cent, thanks to booming property and share markets.
There were also 22.2 per cent more rich people in India while their combined wealth grew 23.4 per cent.
Growth rates of the wealthy in China, Indonesia, Thailand, South Korea and Australia also outpaced that of Singapore, which was ranked seventh in terms of the number of millionaires and sixth in combined wealth.
The report tipped that the Asia-Pacific is set to become the largest wealth market in the world by as early as next year. The number of rich people in the region has climbed 31 per cent since 2007 while their wealth is up 27 per cent, far outpacing growth of 14 per cent and 9 per cent respectively in the rest of the world.
The Asia-Pacific's growing wealth will largely be driven by robust GDP expansion, strong equity markets and real estate price increases in some economies.
The report surveyed about 1,400 respondents across Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan.