China is now fourth in the number of millionaires
The nation stands fourth in the global ranking of US dollar millionaires following the United States, Japan and Germany, which together account for 60 percent of global millionaires, said France-based Capgemini and the Royal Bank of Canada.
The annual wealth report is the latest of many surveys, highlighting the growth of the wealthy in the Asia-Pacific region, despite concerns over slowing growth in the world’s second-largest economy.
The number of people with at least $1 million in liquid assets in China reached about 750,000, compared to 4 million in the US, Japan’s 2.3 million and Germany’s 1.1 million, according to the survey.
ChinaandJapan, the only two Asian countries that made into the top five, contribute the most to Asia’s growing wealth pool, which took experts by surprise due to the economic slowdown in both countries.
“If you look at Japan’s economic situation after the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, it finds itself facing huge costs in terms of cleaning up and rebuilding,” saidLuJinyong, a professor at theUniversity of International Business and Economics in Beijing.
“But probably because of that, it is now considering a green future, providing huge business opportunities in the field of new energy and other industries benefiting from the government’s stimulus, which its entrepreneurs can capitalize on.”
The report said that the Asia-Pacific region will replace North America to become the world’s largest wealth management market thanks to the booming housing market in Asia, Japan’s stock market, and rapid growth in China.
Asia’s millionaire population surpassed that in Europe for the first time in 2009, and in 2011 it edged out North America for the top spot, according to previous editions of the report.
“Surging stock prices really helped many people change from millionaires to billionaires, especially when many start-up companies were looking for IPOs in China,” Lu said.
In 2013, the Asia-Pacific region came close in the millionaire race to North America, which still remains the world’s wealthiest region, with an increase of 17 percent to reach $14.88 trillion, the report said.
“Overall, 2013 was another strong year for the high net worth market, with surging equity markets and improving economies contributing to double digit growth in both population and wealth levels,” said M. George Lewis, group head of RBC Wealth Management & RBC Insurance. “Looking at longer term growth trends, nearly 40 percent of the current level of high net worth wealth has been created in the past five years alone.”