Number of wealthy Singaporeans grew more slowly in 2013

Some 105,100 people in Singapore became high net worth individuals (HNWIs) last year, according to the Asia-Pacific Wealth Report 2014. -- PHOTO: ST FILE 
Some 105,100 people in Singapore became high net worth individuals (HNWIs) last year, according to the Asia-Pacific Wealth Report 2014. -- PHOTO: ST FILE 

SINGAPORE - More Singaporeans squeezed into the high net worth league table last year, but the growth rate was much slower than their regional counterparts due to weaker stock and property markets here, a survey showed.

Some 105,100 people here became high net worth individuals (HNWIs) last year, according to the Asia-Pacific Wealth Report 2014 released on Tuesday by consultant Capgemini and financial firm RBC Wealth Management.

It's a 4.5 per cent increase from the 100,500 who were classified as HNWIs the previous year.

Their combined wealth came in at US$522.5 billion (S$663.5 million) last year, a 6.8 per cent rise from the previous year.

But the growth rates came below the Asia Pacific average figures of a 17.3 per cent rise in the number of of HNWIs and an 18.2 per cent jump in their overall wealth.

Singapore also fell to eighth spot out of 11 economies surveyed in the region last year in terms of having the most number of HNWIs.

It came in seventh place in 2012 but Taiwan leapfrogged it last year with 112,000 HNWIs.

The report defines HNWIs as those having investable assets of at least US$1 million, excluding their primary residence and things like collectibles.

China and Japan, the biggest economies in the survey, powered the regional growth with their strong gross domestic product figures and increase in real estate prices.

Japan's HNWIs population rose 22.3 per cent to 2.3 million while China's number increased 17.8 per cent to 758,000.

Japan's HNWI wealth rose by 24.3 per cent to US$5.5 trillion while China's figure went up 20.5 per cent to US$3.8 trillion.

The report predicts that Asia Pacific will lead global growth and pass North America as the region with the highest HNWI population by the end of this year.