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Asia-Pacific's HNWI population overtook North America's in 2014

Yachts at One Degree 15 Marina Club in Sentosa Cove.

THE Asia-Pacific region had the largest number of high net worth individuals (HNWIs) last year, overtaking North America for pole position, according to the World Wealth Report 2015.

In 2014, the number of HNWIs in Asia-Pacific grew by 8.5 per cent to 4.69 million, overtaking North America's 4.68 million.

The report, issued by Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management, defines HNWIs as "those having investable assets of US$1 million or more, excluding primary residence, collectibles, consumables, and consumer durables."

The Asia-Pacific region's HNWI wealth also grew, rising 11.4 per cent to US$15.82 trillion, which ranked it second behind North America's US$16.23 trillion.

"Asia-Pacific is expected to surpass North America on wealth terms in 2015," the report said.

While most of the growth in the region was driven by China and India, the ranks of HNWIs in Singapore also expanded, rising 2.2 per cent to 107,000 with a collective wealth of US$543 billion.