China now has more super rich than Japan, mostly entrepreneurs benefiting from the country’s surging economic growth. According to a survey released by Capgemini and Merrill Lynch on Sept. 25, at the end of 2007 China boasted more than 6,000 people worth more than $30 million a piece, excluding their principal residence. Japan only had about 5,300.
Japan however is still home to 56 percent of high net worth individuals in the Asia-Pacific region, or 1.5 million Japanese with US$1 million or more in investible assets excluding their primary residence.
India and Vietnam are also seeing a fast expanding pool of wealthy residents. Like China, they saw the number of millionaires increase by more than 20 percent last year, according to this year’s Asia-Pacific Wealth Report.
Japan’s millionaires have mostly inherited wealth, making them far more risk-averse than the rich in emerging economies like China and Vietnam, who tend to be first-generation wealthy and far more willing to take chances with their money, Capgemini said.
Hong Kong’s 95,000 millionaires, led by a clutch of property tycoons, have the highest average net worth in the region at U$5.4 million, compared with a global average of US$4 million.
The region’s 2.8 million high net worth individuals account for nearly a third of the world’s millionaire population. In addition, Asia’s still solid economic growth should continue to boost the number of high net worth individuals by 8 percent this year and for each of the next four years. By 2012 their wealth should reach US$13.9 trillion, up from US$9.5 trillion in 2007, the survey predicted.