Asia-Pacific welcomes more millionaires

Luxury yachtsThe number of dollar millionaires in the Asia-Pacific region grew 1.6% in 2011 even as the combined sum of their investable wealth declined.

The findings in the Asia-Pacific Wealth Report by Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management follow the companies' global wealth survey earlier in the year which revealed that Asia-Pacific had overtaken the United States as the region with the most millionaires, defined as people with more than $1 million (€766 000) in investable wealth.

Japan accounts for half of the 3.4 million wealthy Asians in the survey, while China accounts for 17% and Australia for 5%.

The fastest growth in dollar millionaires was in Thailand, where the wealthy population grew 13%. In Hong Kong and India the number of dollar millionaires fell by nearly a fifth.

Foreign exchange rates have a big effect on the population of dollar millionaires and the continued growth of Japanese high-net-worth people owes partly to the strong yen.

The combined wealth of the Asian dollar millionaires was $10.7 trillion, according to the survey, which is 1.1% less than in 2010. Falls in stock markets over the year and a resulting investor preference for safe, low-yielding assets are behind the decline.

©2012 funds europe