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Wednesday, March 25, 2015, 09:00

SAR millionaires’ club shrinks in 2014

By Luo Weiteng in Hong Kong
SAR millionaires’ club shrinks in 2014
Rental income from apartments they own and regular savings are the two major sources of income after millionaires retire, according to a Citibank survey. (Jerome Favre / Bloomberg)

Hong Kong is home to at least 56,000 multimillionaires — slightly less than 1 percent of the total population — holding more than HK$10 million each in liquid assets, says a new study.

The Hong Kong Affluent Study, conducted by Citibank from last September to February, also shows that the city’s millionaire population is estimated to have dropped by 4 percent to 701,000 in 2014 — from 732,000 in the previous year.

In the past 12 years, the bank published annually its study that tracked the SAR’s growing super-rich population, but last year’s poll focused on multimillionaires.

The city has been hailed as the multimillionaire capital of the world, with each of 211,700 residents having more than $1 million in net assets, according to another study by Johannesburg-based consultancy New World Wealth last August.

Citibank’s study identified a typical multimillionaire — a 58-year-old married male, who earned his first HK$1 million at the age of 33.

“Hong Kong’s multimillionaires can be portrayed as a group of people who made a fortune here in a down-to-earth way,” said Citibank’s head of retail banking Angel Ng. “These investment-savvy people, with diversified investment portfolios, regard stocks as the most preferred investment vehicle and are willing to take relatively bigger risks than those in the lower tier of affluence,” she said.

As a one-child family is becoming the dominant social unit in Hong Kong, offspring-related issues are the prime concerns of the city’s multimillionaires. According to the study, more than half of them have arranged overseas education for their children.

Moreover, children’s financial independence beats medical expenses as the most-cited priority for multimillionaires.

“Leading a decent retirement life is never easy in Hong Kong, even for multimillionaires,” said Elaine Zhou, senior unit manager at Prudential Hong Kong.

Based on the study, about 60 percent of working multimillionaires surveyed said they considered Hong Kong as the ideal place for retirement on an expected average monthly expense of about HK$70,000.

About 60 percent of respondents said they have their own retirement plans other than the Mandatory Provident Fund. Rental income from apartments they own and regular savings are the two major sources of income after retirement, they said.

sophia@chinadailyhk.com

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