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Asia's wealthy surpass North Americans for 1st time: Report

Published on Sep 19, 2012 3:05 PM
A couple shop at a Louis Vuitton store during Vogue's 4th Fashion's Night Out: Shopping Night with Celebrities in downtown Shanghai on Sept 7, 2012. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE (REUTERS) - The number of rich Asians surpassed North Americans for the first time last year, but their fortunes shrank slightly and still trailed total wealth on the other side of the Pacific, Capgemini and Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) Wealth Management said on Wednesday.

The Asia-Pacific region is now home to 3.37 million high net worth individuals (HNWI) - people with US$1 million (S$1.22 million) or more to invest - compared with 3.35 million in North America and 3.17 million in Europe, the firms said in a report.

Asia's wealthy - 54 per cent of whom are concentrated in Japan, almost 17 per cent in China and more than 5 per cent in Australia - saw their total fortunes slip to US$10.7 trillion last year from US$10.8 trillion in 2010, and lag North America's US$11.4 trillion.

The Asia-Pacific Wealth Report, compiled by Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management, is closely watched by wealth managers, high-end property agents, luxury goods retailers and other businesses for signs of how and where the ultra-wealthy are investing and how their fortunes are faring.

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