Thursday, June 23, 2011 Number of HK millionaires jumps 33pc




Number of HK millionaires jumps 33pc

The number of millionaires in Asia-Pacific has jumped sharply to overtake Europe, a study said on Thursday â€" driven by the fast-rising super-rich population of Hong Kong.

Millionaires in Asia-Pacific became worth more collectively than their counterparts in Europe in 2009, but there are also now more of them, at 3.3 million in the region, versus 3.1 million in Europe.

The report on high-net worth individuals (HNWIs) â€" defined as anyone with investable assets of at least US$1 million â€" was issued by Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management and consultancy firm Capgemini.

"Asia-Pacific's continued strong performance cements the region's strategic importance to every wealth management firm with global aspirations," said Michael Benz, Asia-Pacific head of Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management.

"Now the world's second-biggest HNWI market in terms of population and wealth, it is more pertinent than ever for the wealth management industry to keep enhancing their service to this diverse region," he added.

The region is now second to North America, with 3.4 million millionaires.

The growth in Asia was led by the number of millionaires in Hong Kong, which grew 33.3 per cent last year to 101,300 people, compared with 76,000 in 2009 â€" the second straight year in which the city's super-rich population grew the most.

The rocketing number of millionaires in Hong Kong was due to a healthy economy as well as gains in the equities and real estate markets, said the report.

The report also noted the fast growth of Indian millionaires, where India's HNWI population became the world's twelfth largest last year, its highest every placing.

Asia, which has emerged quickly from the global recession, has produced some of the world's richest people including India's business tycoon Mukesh Ambani and Hong Kong's Li Ka-shing, nicknamed "Superman" for his business prowess.

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