August 18, 2022
SINGAPORE – In the next eight years, the number of millionaires in Singapore as a share of its population will be more than that of the United States, China or any other economy in the Asia-Pacific region, said HSBC in a report.
The Republic, where 7.5 per cent of the adult population had wealth of at least US$1 million (S$1.38 million) in 2021, would see the share of millionaires rise to 9.8 per cent in 2025 and then jump to 13.4 per cent in 2030.
The study looks at resident population that comprises citizens and permanent residents.
To measure the wealth of the millionaires, HSBC said it used their cash in banks and investment in securities such as stocks and bonds. It also took into account real estate holdings, which include owner-occupied properties, after deducting any outstanding mortgage amounts.
The bank said that in Asia, Singapore is already second to only Australia, whose share of millionaires per population stood at 8 per cent in 2021.
By 2030, Australia will drop to second place with 12.5 per cent of the nation holding cash and assets of at least a million US dollars.
By that year, 11.1 per cent of Hong Kong’s population will be millionaires, 9 per cent for the US, 7.2 per cent for Japan and 4.4 per cent for China.
Singapore’s share of residents with wealth of at least US$250,000 will rise to 67 per cent by 2030, second to Australia’s 70.8 per cent, said the report titled The Rise Of Asian Wealth.
HSBC said the growth of millionaires in Asia will continue through 2035 with their projected share reaching 17 per cent for Singapore, ahead of 15.1 per cent for Australia and 14.6 per cent for Hong Kong.
However, in absolute terms, the countries with large populations will continue to lead the league of millionaires in the region.
The number of adults with wealth of at least US$1 million in China stood at 17.1 million in 2021. HSBC said that number will rise to 50.4 million in 2030.
The number of Singapore millionaires will rise over the same period from 400,000 to 700,000.
Mr Frederic Neumann, HSBC’s chief Asia economist, said the deepening pool of local savings across the region is providing a measure of resilience against the vagaries of global financial markets and hardship from rising inflation and slowing growth.
“An account of Asia’s growing wealth also shines a light on the societal resources that are ultimately available to lift millions more out of poverty,” he said in the report.
“After all, the region is hardly short of capital, even if this is unevenly distributed, both between and within economies.”
He noted that financial wealth in Asia had started to exceed that in the US after 2008 with the start of the global financial crisis, the worst economic disaster to hit the US since the Great Depression. Asian financial wealth reached just shy of US$140 trillion in 2021, well above US$120 trillion in the US.
Japan accounted for over half of the wealth held in the region in the years following the global financial crisis. But by 2021, China’s share climbed to 46 per cent while Japan’s has fallen to a quarter.
However, excluding Japan, Asia’s financial wealth is still lower than that of the US at around US$100 trillion.
But “given current trends in per capita income growth, wealth in Asia ex-Japan could surpass that in the US by 2025”, said Mr Neumann.
The number of millionaires in Asia, excluding Japan, is projected to jump from roughly 30 million currently to over 76 million by the end of the decade, he added.