Millionaire wealth in Asia may top North America by 2014
Wealth among the richest in the Asia-Pacific region could surpass that of North America as soon as next year, a joint report by Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management showed on Wednesday.
The total wealth of high net-worth individuals in the region – defined as those with investable assets of $1 million and above – is expected to rise to $15.9 trillion by 2015, compared with $12 trillion in 2012. Wealth of the equivalent group of individuals in North America stood at $12.7 trillion last year.
"The Asia-Pacific market is clearly one to watch. Its leadership in global high net-worth wealth growth positions it to become the largest wealth market by population as early as 2014," M. George Lewis, Group Head of RBC Wealth Management & RBC Insurance said in the report.
The number of high net-worth individuals in Asia-Pacific rose 9.4 percent to 3.68 million last year. Hong Kong and India experienced the biggest percentage gains, with the population of this group rising 35 percent to 114,000 and 22 percent to 153,000, respectively.
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Japan and Taiwan were the only markets to pose single digit growth in this wealth segment, rising 4.5 percent to 1.9 million and 7 percent to 95,000, respectively.
Still, Japan leads in Asia as the country with most wealth among high net-worth individuals, with 1.9 million holding a combined wealth of $4.4 trillion in 2012.
"Asia-Pacific's robust growth in 2012 builds on over five years of consistent outperformance," said Lewis. "The region's high net worth population and wealth has increased by 31 percent and 27 percent respectively since 2007, far outpacing growth in the rest of the world of 14 percent and nine percent."
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Wealth of high net-worth individuals totaled $46.2 trillion globally last year, led by North America, and followed by Asia-Pacific and Europe.
- By CNBC's Li Anne Wong. Follow her on Twitter at @LiAnneCNBC