Number of Chinese Billionaires Skyrockets

October 11, 2013, 8:30 AM

Number of Chinese Billionaires Skyrockets

Asia sprouted a new crop of millionaires over the past year, with growth of wealth in China topping the charts. According to a report this week by Credit Suisse, the country now has 6% of the world’s total of ultra-high-net-worth individuals, or those with fortunes in excess of $50 million. That’s second only to the United States, which commands nearly half the world’s total.

Fan Cheuk-wan of Credit Suisse credited such growth in China to the country’s capital market’s development and the large number of companies being listed during the period the report covered — mid-2012 to mid-2013. “This has created many new billionaires in China,” said Ms. Fan, chief investment officer of the company’s Asian private banking and wealth management division. Between 2005 and 2010, the number of billionaires in China grew from two to 64.

“It also implies a widening of wealth inequality,” she added. According to a survey by researchers at China’s Southwestern University of Finance, the top 1% of Chinese families own some $1.6 million in assets, compared to an average of $368,000 per Chinese family.

Credit Suisse’s report, which charted the changes in wealth in 216 countries, found that total global wealth has reached an all-time high of $241 trillion—up by more than two-thirds since 2003. Household wealth in China grew by 7%, faster than the global average of 5%.

Elsewhere in the region, Japan’s wealth dropped 21% in dollar terms, thanks to the depreciation of the yen against the U.S. dollar. The country was the only one in Asia to experience a decline during the period. But Ms. Fan noted that in yen terms, household wealth in Japan actually increased by 1.8%.

In Hong Kong, the number of millionaires has now notched 103,000, up 9% from 2012, thanks to strong appreciation in property prices and the stock market.

Meanwhile, household wealth in North America rose by 12% to reach $79 trillion, making it the world’s wealthiest region for the first time since 2005. Growth was powered in the U.S. by a recovery in house prices and a strong stock market performance.

Still, Asia-Pacific is expected to overtake North America as the wealthiest region in the world by 2017, Credit Suisse said. In China, the expected emphasis of future reforms on market deregulation should create more private-sector opportunities, particularly for entrepreneurs, Ms. Fan said.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: