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Asia Pacific set to become world’s HNWI capital

Asia Pacific is set to topple North America from its throne as home to the most wealthy individuals next year, according to new research, with the region’s high net worth individual population growing at twice the rate of the rest of the world between 2007 and 2012.

Asia Pacific is set to topple North America from its throne as home to the most wealthy individuals next year, according to new research, with the region’s high net worth individual population growing at twice the rate of the rest of the world between 2007 and 2012.

When it comes to ultra-high net worth individuals, the Asia Pacific Wealth Report 2013, published by CapGemini and RBC Wealth Management, revealed the Asia-Pacific's population had increased 15% over the same period – compared to the global average of 10%.

Asia Pacific’s HNW individual population, defined as someone with $1 million (€736,000) of investable assets, at 3.68 million, lags just behind North America, which has a HNW population of 3.73 million.

But M George Lewis, group head of RBC Wealth Management & RBC Insurance, said the region is positioned to become the largest wealth market by 2014.

“The region’s high net worth population and wealth has increased by 31% and 27% respectively since 2007, far outpacing growth in the rest of the world of 14% and 9%,” he said.

The total wealth of Asia Pacific’s HNW individuals in 2012 was $12 trillion, according to the report, and this is expected to grow by 10% annually to $15.9 trillion by 2015.

Hong Kong and India experienced the most significant gains in HNW individual population and wealth in 2012, following steep declines in 2011. Hong Kong’s HNW individual population grew by 36% and their wealth by 37%, while India’s population grew by 22% and their wealth by 23%.

Japan and Taiwan saw the slowest growth in the region with their HNW populations growing 4% and 7% respectively.

The outlook of Asia Pacific (ex-Japan) HNW individuals is positive, with 91% confident they can build their wealth in the near future, led by those in India (96%) and China (95%).

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