June 19, 2023
SEOUL – Amid the increasing trend for high-net-worth individuals to migrate to other countries, more than 800 Korean millionaires, which is double the amount compared to last year, are expected to migrate to foreign countries in 2023, a report said.
According to a report released by English residence and citizenship investment advisory firm Henley & Partners, Korea’s net outflow of high-net-worth individuals, or HNWIs, is estimated to jump from 400 to 800 in 2023. The number marks Korea as the seventh-biggest loser of millionaires internationally.
HNWIs refer to net asset holders that relocated to a new country and stayed there for more than six months, with assets that can be invested worth more than $1 million.
China was selected as the country with the highest amount of millionaire outflow in 2023, with the number expected to increase from 10,800 to 13,500 in 2023. The report analyzed that the outflow is interpreted as an aftereffect of “common prosperity,” China’s policy to intervene fiscally to redistribute wealth, along with the country’s “zero-COVID” policies.
India ranked second with 6,500 HNWIs expected to emigrate, followed by Britain (3,200), Russia (3,000) and Brazil (1,200).
Meanwhile, the report said Australia is expected to attract the highest net inflow of HNWIs in 2023, with 5,200 inflows of millionaires.
United Arab Emirates fell to second place following its record-breaking influx the year before, while Singapore ranked third, with a net inflow of 3,200 HNWIs.
Juerg Steffen, CEO of Henley & Partners, said in the report that there has been a steady growth in millionaire migration over the past decade, with global figures for migrating millionaires expected reach 122,000 and 128,000 in 2023 and 2024, respectively.
“Recent and persistent (economic) turmoil has caused a shift — more investors are considering relocating their families for a range of reasons, from safety and security, to education and health care, to climate change resilience and even crypto-friendliness,” said Dominic Volek, an official at Henley & Partners, in the report.
“It is important to note that nine of the Top 10 countries for forecast net HNWI inflows in 2023 host formal residence by investment programs that encourage foreign direct investment in return for the right to reside, which can also lead to citizenship in some cases. Investors see the clear value of diversifying their domicile portfolios as the ultimate hedge against both regional and global volatility, now and in the future,” he added.
Specifically for Korea, the reason for the increased outflow of millionaires could also lean more towards HNWIs’ attempts to raise their quality of life than eliminating the dangers of losing or having their asset value change, said Kim Hong-ki, president of the Korean Economic Association.
“Korea has a high rate of capital mobility. Koreans have less difficulty taking wealth out of harm’s way. Millionaires could be migrating in the hope to raise their quality of life,” he said.