EASE UP IN WEALTH

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By JING in Shang­hai shi­jing@

Hu­run re­port sug­gests slow in­crease in mil­lion­aires

At a time of eco­nomic slow­down com­bined with mar­ket un­cer­tain­ties, Chi­nese mil­lion­aires’ con­fi­dence in the coun­try’s econ­omy in the next two years has dropped for a sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year, ac­cord­ing to the GroupM Knowl­edge-Hu­run Wealth Re­port 2013.

The re­port was co-re­leased by the me­dia in­vest­ment man­age­ment firm GroupM China and the Shang­hai-based Hu­run Re­port on Wed­nes­day.

One quar­ter of the mil­lion­aires sur­veyed said they were “very con­fi­dent” in the econ­omy in the next two years, down about 3 per­cent­age points yearon-year. In the pre­vi­ous year, 54 per­cent of the re­spon­dents said that they were “very con­fi­dent” in the econ­omy.

About 9 per­cent of the sur­veyed mil­lion­aires said they are not con­fi­dent in the coun­try’s econ­omy, 2 per­cent­age points higher than a year ear­lier.

Mean­while, the num­ber of mil­lion­aires those with a per­sonal wealth of 10 mil­lion yuan ($1.63 mil­lion) or more

has in­creased to 1.05 mil­lion this year, 30,000 more than a year ear­lier. The num­ber of the su­per-rich, those who have per­sonal as­sets worth over 100 mil­lion yuan, has in­creased by 1,000 to reach 64,500.

How­ever, the growth rates in the num­ber of mil­lion­aires and su­per-rich peo­ple were the slow­est ever since the Hu­run Wealth Re­port was first pub­lished five years ago.

“Al­though the growth rate of China’s mil­lion­aires is the low­est in the last five years, we can still gain in­sights into their life choices as re­vealed from the changes in their con­sump­tion and in­vest­ment pref­er­ences, their per­cep­tion of life and health and so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity, de­spite un­cer­tainty in the wider en­vi­ron­ment. This will help brand mar­keters to think deeper about what kind of value their brands could of­fer in their brand com­mu­ni­ca­tion strat­egy,” said Eve Lo, chief knowl­edge of­fi­cer of GroupM China.

Bei­jing re­mains home to 184,000 mil­lion­aires and 10,700 su­per- rich peo­ple. Guang­dong home to 172,000 mil­lion­aires and 9,600 su­per-rich peo­ple dis­lodged Shang­hai and grabbed the sec­ond slot.

Chi­nese mil­lion­aires mainly com­prise four cat­e­gories of peo­ple: pri­vate busi­ness own­ers, stock mar­ket gu­rus, prop­erty spec­u­la­tors and hig­h­earn­ing ex­ec­u­tives.

Avoid­ing risk is now the main in­vest­ment guide­line for mil­lion­aires, af­ter the re­cent less- than- promis­ing per­for­mance of the coun­try’s stock mar­ket and prop­erty mar­ket. Only 44 per­cent of mil­lion­aires showed an in­ter­est in the stock mar­ket, the low­est level in three years. Real es­tate re­mains the first choice when it comes to per­sonal in­vest­ments, de­spite the macro- ad­just­ment mea­sures, ac­count­ing for 64 per­cent of all in­vest­ments.

Fol­low­ing the craze for study­ing abroad, there is now also an in­creas­ingly clear ten­dency to buy over­seas prop­erty, with the United States the top des­ti­na­tion.

Huang Ying, 31, bought a house in Los An­ge­les last month for about $2.4 mil­lion. Her hus­band works in the fi­nan­cial in­dus­try in Shang­hai, and has an an­nual in­come of about 5 mil­lion yuan.

“We have three chil­dren at present, and my el­dest son is seven. There­fore, we have bought the house so that my son can go to a good pri­mary school in that neigh­bor­hood,” said Huang.

The Mil­lion­aire Hap­pi­ness In­dex, which fea­tured in the re­port for the first time this year, showed that 73 per­cent of re­spon­dents said that they are hap­pier than the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion. The aver­age hap­pi­ness in­dex is at 7.8 out of 10.

“For the Chi­nese mil­lion­aire class, the key words this year are ‘ health’ and ‘ hap­pi­ness’,” said Ru­pert Hoogew­erf, chair­man and chief re­searcher of the Hu­run Re­port.

What mil­lion­aires want the most is good health. One quar­ter are dis­sat­is­fied with their health con­di­tion, and more than one-third feel that they don’t ex­er­cise enough.

“Chi­nese con­sumers have changed a lot in terms of their de­mand for prod­ucts and their ideas for health. They have changed their fo­cus from com­pre­hen­sive nu­tri­tion sup­ple­ments to cus­tom­ized health prod­ucts,” said Cai Baoguang, gen­eral man­ager for Pfizer Inc’s health drugs unit in China and Hong Kong.

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