Asia Pacific key contributor of global wealth

Updated: 2011-10-19 21:12


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HONG KONG - Asia Pacific has emerged as the key contributor of global wealth growth, accounting for 36 percent of all global wealth creation since 2000, and 54 percent since January 2010, according to a global wealth report released on Wednesday by the Credit Suisse Research Institute.

Emerging markets remain the main wealth growth engine, with the fastest growth seen in Latin America, Africa and Asia, said the report, which defines wealth as the value of financial assets and non-financial assets (mainly real estate), minus household debt.

The report said total global wealth has increased 14 percent from $203 trillion in January 2010 to $231 trillion in June 2011.

In the next five years, global wealth is expected to rise by 50 percent to $345 trillion and wealth per adult to increase 40 percent to reach $70,700, led by growth in emerging markets.

The report indicated emerging markets have considerable scope to increase personal wealth given their much lower ratio of net financial assets to income and a much lower debt-income ratio than found in mature economies. Aging is also expected to increase the demand for financial assets relative to real assets like housing.

Total household wealth in Asia Pacific increased 23 percent from $61 trillion in January 2010 to $75 trillion in June 2011. This contrasted with the 9.2 percent and 4.8 percent total wealth growth in North America and Europe over the same period respectively.

The report finds that 29.7 million adults with household wealth of more than $1 million make up less than 1 percent of the world's adult population, but own 38.5 percent of global household wealth.

Europe surpassed North America making up 37.2 percent millionaires in the world, followed by North America's 37 percent. In Asia Pacific, Japan ranked first with 11 percent or 3.1 million millionaires, followed by Australia and China (one million each).

The report estimates that China's high net worth individuals have exceeded one million for the first time, representing 3.4 percent of the total number of high net worth individuals globally.