Wealthy Asians get richer fastest in the world

A driver in a Ferrari waits for pedestrians at an intersection in Beijing, China. Global wealth is on course to exceed US$100 trillion by 2025.
A driver in a Ferrari waits for pedestrians at an intersection in Beijing, China. Global wealth is on course to exceed US$100 trillion by 2025.PHOTO: AFP

Rich Asians got richer faster than anyone else in the world last year.

Wealth assets held by high-net-worth individuals in the Asia-Pacific region jumped almost 15 per cent to US$21.6 trillion (S$29.4 trillion) last year, according to a Capgemini SE report released yesterday.

Accelerating economic growth and equity market rallies helped push the global total to a record US$70.2 trillion, the World Wealth Report showed.

The rising number of millionaires in Asia is prompting financial firms from Credit Suisse to DBS Group Holdings to expand private banking operations throughout the region.

While Japan and China contributed the bulk of Asia's wealth last year, India topped the global chart when it came to the growth rate.

"Emerging markets in Asia, such as China and India, are going to be the engine of growth," said Mr David Wilson, the consulting firm's head of Asia wealth management.

Global wealth is on course to exceed US$100 trillion by 2025, according to the report, which defines high-net-worth individuals as those with at least US$1 million in investable assets.

The survey also found that only around half of the millionaires are in tune with their wealth managers, and the very rich are increasingly interested in cryptocurrency investments.

The survey also found that only around half of the millionaires are in tune with their wealth managers, and the very rich are increasingly interested in cryptocurrency investments.

Rich people's enthusiasm for digital currencies swelled last year, with 29 per cent of millionaires expressing a high degree of interest in buying or holding cryptocurrencies, and nearly 27 per cent somewhat interested, the survey found.

But it did not boost their satisfaction with the people managing their fortunes. Only around 56 per cent of millionaires say they are connected "very well" with their wealth managers, short of the 70 per cent level the French business consulting group calls a passing grade.

Only around a third said they had got information about cryptocurrencies from their wealth managers.

"Although regulatory uncertainty and firm caution have prevented cryptocurrencies from penetrating the wealth management industry, the strong demand for information on cryptocurrencies from younger high-net-worth individuals is likely to force wealth management firms to at least develop and offer a point of view during the months ahead," it said.

BLOOMBERG, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 20, 2018, with the headline 'Wealthy Asians get richer fastest in the world'. Print Edition | Subscribe