Asia-Pacific poised to become largest wealth market next year

The number and wealth of high net worth individuals (HNWIs) in the Asia-Pacific region has grown at twice and three times the rate in the rest of the world during 2007-2012.

The data comes from a new report – Asia-Pacific Wealth Report 2013 (APWR) – published by Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management.

During that period, Asia-Pacific’s population grew by 9.4%, reaching 3.68 million, while their wealth increased by 12.2% to reach $12 trillion.

The number of high net worth individuals in North America reached 3.73 million in 2012. In this area over the same period, the HNWI population had increased by 11.5%.

Asia-Pacific is expected to take top spot from North America in the near future. By 2015, HNWI wealth is forecast to reach $15.9 trillion.

Group Head, RBC Wealth Management & RBC Insurance, M. George Lewis, said:

“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. Asia-Pacific’s robust growth in 2012 builds on over five years of consistent outperformance.”

“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.”

Jean Lassignardie, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Capgemini Global Financial Services, added “GDP growth of 5.5 percent, which is more than double the global average, combined with strong equity market performance across the region and strong real estate market performance in some markets, drove robust growth in Asia-Pacific’s HNWI population and wealth in 2012.”

“This GDP growth rate is projected to drive Asia-Pacific’s growth in HNWI population and wealth through 2014.”

Asia-Pacific growth rates uneven

The whole Asia-Pacific market grew in 2012. However, the different economic policies, pace of reforms, investor behaviors and preferences, and regulatory developments reflect how HNWI growth has been uneven in the area.

The HNWI population and wealth expanded the most in India and Hong Kong last year, after steep falls the year before.

India’s HNWI population grew by 22.2% (wealth 23.4%) and Hong Kong’s by 35.7% (wealth (37.2%).

Japan and Taiwan’s HNWI populations grew by 4.4% and 7% respectively, the only markets to see single-digit increases.