Merrill wealth survey sees Asians getting richer

But for high net worth individuals reading this article, you should realise you are now only one among a population of 2.4 million others in Asia.
In its annual survey, conducted with CapGemini, Merrill Lynch has revealed that Asia-PacificÆs population of high net worth individuals (HNWI) rose to 2.4 million in 2005. This represented an increase of 7.3% over 2004 and saw Asian HNWI wealth grow 8% to $7.6 trillion.

A HNWI individual is defined as someone with more than $1 million in liquid assets û ie excluding their primary residence.

Asia is the fastest growing market for HNWI, according to MerrillÆs survey. Asian countries occupy five of the top 10 slots among the fastest growing HNWI markets.

The population of high net worth individuals grew fastest in Korea (21.3%) followed by India (19.3%), Indonesia (14.7%), Hong Kong (14.4%) and Singapore (13.4%).

Asia also benefited on another front, according to the survey. For the first time Asia surpassed Europe as the second most popular destination (after the US) for HNWI investments. Asia-Pacific accounted for 23% of their total assets. Europe, on the other hand, accounts for 22% of their assets.

The total global wealth held by HNWIs is now $33.3 trillion and Merrill forecasts it to grow to $44.6 trillion by 2010. MerrillÆs wealth survey has now been running for 10 years.
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