Asia’s Richest Families Move Their Wealth To Singapore

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Singapore is fast turning into millionaire central as wealthy families from across Asia queue to move to the fast-growing city state.

Around one in every 30 people is already a US dollar millionaire – or high net worth individual (HNWI) – and this number is expected to surge to one in 20 within five years.

The figures come from a Wealth Insight report on Singapore, which shows the city has the second highest number of millionaires per head of population next to the tiny Mediterranean state of Monaco.

The number of millionaires is expected to grow by 59% between 2012 and 2017.

The report forecasts that the growth in wealth will come from Singapore’s burgeoning financial services industry.

Financial hub

The state is the leading Asian Pacific economic hub with a growing stock market and financial services sector.

Financial services are already the major source of income for 22% of the regions multimillionaires and 35% of millionaires – who have surged in number by 163% in the past five years.

In 2012, Singapore millionaires owned 35.2% (US$302 billion) of their wealth outside their home country, which is well above the global average of 25%. Wealth Insight predicts the value of foreign assets held by Singaporeans to rise to US$462 billion by 2017.

Other highlights from the report include:

  • 83% of multimillionaires in Singapore are men
  • 47% of multimillionaires in Singapore earned their wealth, whiles 35% run their own businesses
  • In 2012, just over 183,000 millionaires in Singapore held US$857 billion or 85.7% of the total individual wealth held in the state
  • With assets valued at  more than US$1.29 trillion under management, Singapore is the world’s fastest growing wealth centre

Wealth Insight analyst Oliver Williams explained that this wealth will increase as other rich families from the Asia Pacific move their financial affairs to Singapore as their home markets start to deteriorate.

Home grown millionaires

“The lure of Singapore to families in China, India, Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia who are stacking up huge wealth as their economies and businesses prosper is immense,” he said.

“Nevertheless, Singapore is generating its own wealth despite the attraction of the state for the wealthy from other nations. Home grown millionaires still make up the largest percentage of high net worth individuals in the state.”

Williams also backs other recent reports that expect Singapore to overtake Switzerland as the world’s major offshore wealth manager by 2020.

“Singapore millionaires hold 40% of their foreign assets in the Asia-Pacific region and are building more wealth all the time whereas new international tax laws and banking transparency are hitting the financial sector in Switzerland,” said Williams.

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