Growth of S'pore's population of high net worth individuals slower than region in 2013

SINGAPORE'S population of high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) and wealth grew more slowly than the regional average in 2013 due to "challenged equity markets", said a report published on Tuesday.

The Asia-Pacific Wealth Report (APWR) 2014 by Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management noted that Singapore's HNWI population increased by 5 per cent to 105,000 last year, while their wealth grew 7 per cent to US$523 billion.

In contrast, the population of HNWIs in the Asia-Pacific grew 17 per cent to 4.3 million, while their wealth grew 18 per cent to hit US$14.2 trillion.

Globally, HNWIs grew by 13 per cent, and their wealth, by 12 per cent.

HNWIs are defined as those having investable assets of US$1 million or more, excluding their primary residence, collectibles, consumables and consumer durables.

M. George Lewis, the group head for RBC Wealth Management & RBC Insurance, said: "While equity market performance across the Asia-Pacific was mixed in 2013, strong economic growth and real estate prices in key markets drove healthy overall wealth growth.

"The Asia-Pacific is expected to continue to lead global growth and pass North America as the region with the highest HNWI population by the end of 2014, and the greatest HNWI wealth by 2015."

Japan and China account for more than two-thirds of the Asia-Pacific's HNWI population and drove 85 per cent of the HNWI population growth in 2013; Japan raised its number of HNWIs by 22 per cent to 2.3 million, and China, by 18 per cent to 758,000.

The two countries also grew their HNWI wealth the fastest in the region - 24 per cent to US$5.5 trillion for Japan, and 20 per cent to US$3.8 trillion for China.

The APWR report also carried data on the Asia-Pacific's ultra-HNWIs - defined as those having investable assets of US$30 million or more, excluding their primary residence, collectibles, consumables and consumer durables.

This group of individuals grew their wealth at about twice the rate of their peers in the rest of the world in 2013 - 20 per cent versus 10 per cent; they also amassed their wealth fastest in the five-year period between 2008 and 2013 - at an average annual growth rate of 17 per cent versus 8 per cent in the rest of the world.

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