Singapore's wealth per adult rises 1.4% in 2016, continuing trend of slower growth rates: Credit Suisse report

Singapore is now tenth in the world in terms of household wealth per adult, down from eighth last year, but still top in Asia.
Singapore is now tenth in the world in terms of household wealth per adult, down from eighth last year, but still top in Asia. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singapore is now tenth in the world in terms of household wealth per adult, down from eighth last year, but still top in Asia, says a report released on Tuesday (Nov 22) by the Credit Suisse Research Institute.

Wealth per adult rose 1.4 per cent to US$277,000 (S$394,000) in 2016. This compares to the annual growth rate of 6 per cent from 2000 to 2016 caused by high savings, asset price increases and the rising Singapore dollar from 2005 to 2012.

Note that "wealth" in this study includes the price or value of one's home. It also includes the value of financial assets like bank savings, shares and bonds.

Wealth per adult here is forecast to rise 2.2 per cent a year to US$309,000 in 2021, said Credit Suisse in its seventh annual Global Wealth Report.

Singapore's total household wealth grew 2.9 per cent in 2016 to reach US$1.1 trillion, reversing a 5.8 per cent drop to US$1 trillion last year.

But household wealth here will accelerate at a rate of 3.5 per year in the next five years to reach US$1.4 trillion in 2021, Credit Suisse projected.

The report found wealth distribution in Singapore "moderately unequal", with 18 per cent of adults having wealth below US$10,000, compared with 73 per cent globally.

Singaporeans have also progressed rapidly up the wealth pyramid, with now 50 per cent of adults having a net worth above US$100,000, compared to 21 per cent in 2000, while those with wealth below US$100,000 have declined from 79 per cent to 50 per cent of adult population.

The number of millionaires grew 2 per cent to 150,000 in 2016, who together have US$541 billion in wealth.

The super-rich, or ultra-high-net-worth individuals with more than US$50 million each, grew even faster at 14.2 per cent to 885.

The number of millionaires is forecast to grow 4.2 per cent per annum to 185,000 in 2021.

Financial assets make up 54 per cent of gross household wealth in Singapore, a ratio similar to that of Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

The average debt of US$54,800 per adult here is moderate for a high-wealth country, representing 17 per cent of total assets, said Credit Suisse.