The Asia-Pacific region will be home to the majority of the world’s millionaires by 2014.
The number of millionaires in the Asia-Pacific grew twice as fast as the rest of the world from 2007 to 2012, an annual Asia-Pacific Wealth Report by the Royal Bank of Canada and consultancy firm Capgemini shows.
In Asia the number of millionaires surged by 9.4% year-on-year to 3.68 million in 2012, still trailing North America’s 3.73 million.
Millionaires in the report are defined as individuals with investable assets of $1 million or more, excluding residence, collectibles and others.
Asia’s continual population growth, and economic growth expected to continue outperforming the rest of the world, would help it take the lead as early as next year, according to Eric Lascelles, chief economist of RBC Global Asset Management.
The bank said Japan saw the slowest growth in its millionaire population in 2012 among Asian economies, with only a 4.4% increase compared to 2011.
Hong Kong topped its Asian peers in the growth of both millionaire numbers and their investable assets in 2012. The number of millionaires rose by 35.7% year-on-year while their wealth grew by 37.2%.
Capgemini wealth specialist Dorus van den Biezenbos said Asia-Pacific had the largest millionaire population in 2011, but lost the title in 2012 as the US economy began to recover.
But economic growth and rising property prices are expected to see Asia-Pacific take the top spot again in 2014, he said.
“Over the last 10 or 15 years, we’ve seen massive growth in Asia-Pacific, more than anywhere else in the world, and that comes from it being such an attractive region for investments,” Mr van den Biezenbos said.
“In the last year, there were only two other countries outside of the Asia-Pacific that showed double digit (economic) growth figures.
“We’re foreseeing larger economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region than we are foreseeing in North America.”
Last summer, a report from Julius Baer , the Swiss wealth manager said Asia will add 1.66 million dollar-millionaires by 2015, taking the total number of wealthy to 2.82 million as the world’s fastest-growing major economies of China and India continue to mint millionaires.
The Swiss wealth manager forecast that the wealth of high networth individuals (HNIs), those with $1 million or more in investable assets, would nearly triple to $15.8 trillion in the five years to 2015.
China alone would be home to nearly half of the millionaires in Asia with combined wealth of $8.8 trillion. The world’s most populous nation had 502,000 million HNIs with investable assets totaling $2.6 trillion, the report said.
India would more than double the number of HNIs to 403,000 by 2015, while Indonesia would see the highest growth rate in the number of wealthy, up by a quarter to 99,000, the first such report from Julius Baer said.
The wealth manager forecast that China and India, part of the so called Asian Tigers, would collectively contribute 40 percent to global growth for 2011 and 2012.
Ranks of the Asian rich
No of HNIs (1,000)
Wealth of HNIs ($bln)