26th June 2014
As business creation and economic growth soars in China and elsewhere in the region, Asia is creating more dollar millionaires than anywhere else.
Asia-Pacific’s high-net worth population - those defined as having investable assets of at least $1 million - expanded by 17 per cent to 4.32 million last year. That puts the region on track to overtake North America, which leads the world by barely 10,000 more millionaires, according to the report from Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management.
North America maintained its position as the wealthiest region, increasing wealth of the richest people by 17 per cent to $14.88 trillion, with 4.33 million individuals in the high-net worth category.
“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, RBC Wealth Management & RBC Insurance. "Looking at longer term growth trends, nearly 40 per cent of the current level of high net worth wealth has been created in the past five years alone."
Most regions are expected to see “robust” growth, with Asia-Pacific leading the way with an anticipated 9.8 per cent annual growth rate. Indeed the region is already set to overtake North America. Asia Pacific is positioned to be the largest high net worth market by population in 2014 and by wealth by 2015.
Despite all the problems in the eurozone, Europe’s dollar millionaires increased in number by 12 per cent to reach 3.83 million, while their combined wealth expanded at 14 per cent to $12.39 trillion.
Latin America was the exception to strong global growth, with increases of only four per cent in population and two per cent in wealth. According to the World Wealth Report, this was due to slow GDP growth and weak equity markets.
The world’s rich are also looking abroad to increase their wealth, allocating over one-third (37 per cent) of their assets outside of their home region. This was up from one-quarter (25 per cent) just a year ago, and suggests business owners may increasingly seek opportunities in foreign markets.