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Singapore and Hong Kong may be prime locations for High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI) in the Asia Pacific region, but the latter has taken a lead in the number of millionaires.
According to a new report by WealthInsight, Hong Kong has 18.4% more HNWI (185,055) than Singapore (151,025). HNWI are otherwise known as millionaires, with net assets of US$1 million or more.
Billionaires in the city state were also found having 237.7% less wealth (totalling US$ 69 billion) than that of billionaires in Hong Kong (totalling US$ 233 billion).
In 2013, Singapore had over 150,000 HNWI, with US$ 748.8 billion in their possession. This wealth grew at a rapid rate of 51.7% between 2009 and 2013, and is forecast to increase by a further 28.8% to reach US$ 1.03 trillion in 2018.
By 2018, it is predicted that Singapore will house 32 of the world’s billionaires, exceeding those in Malaysia (20).
“Singapore’s favourable economic and business environment demonstrates that it is one of the best places for private banking, alongside Hong Kong, London and New York,” said WealthInsight analyst Tom Carlisle.
The report also stated, “Unlike many countries in the AsiaPacific, Singapore has already shown itself to be one of the most developed economies in the world, but needs to make sure it continues to attract some of the largest businesses, by offering tax incentives and easy access to the market.”
Although Hong Kong is currently leading the Asia Pacific region in terms of wealth possession, the report predicts that Singapore may overtake the city over the next five years, due to the rising political tensions in Hong Kong.
“Since the strikes in Hong Kong the likelihood that China will start vetting Hong Kong’s democracy has increased. Democratic changes in the long term could change the make-up of Hong Kong’s financial strength, giving Singapore a larger lead,” said Carlisle.