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Wednesday, April 19, 2017, 16:05

HK's multimillionaire population stays flat

By Evelyn Yu

HK's multimillionaire population stays flat
People cross the street in the Central Business District of Hong Kong on Oct 9, 2008. (AFP PHOTO/MIKE CLARKE)

Hong Kong boasted 59,000 multimillionaires – people with HK$10 million ($1.29 million) or more in liquid assets – last year, according to an affluent study released by Citibank on Tuesday.

The number of multimillionaires had not changed compared with one year earlier, while the population of millionaires recorded an increase of 15 percent to 878,000 people last year.

The average age of multimillionaires is 58 and 20 percent of them are single; women multimillionaires are more likely to be single than men, the study found. The median monthly income of working multimillionaires is HK$175,000, eleven times median employment earnings.

READ MORE: HK ranks 4th in number of billionaires

The city’s wealthy class have increased asset diversification, with an average 4.7 investment products compared with 3.7 one year earlier. Bonds and foreign currency registered the largest growth in the high-fliers’ portfolios last year.

More than half of the working multimillionaires were self-employed, many of them running small- to medium enterprises

More affluent people expected property prices to rise in the next 24 months. Yet multimillionaires’ reaction to recent global events – such as the surprise result in last year’s United States presidential election – was relatively mild; the report compilers said less than 20 percent of the affluent had reviewed their portfolios under volatile market conditions.

Lawrence Lam, head of retail banking in Citibank, said more than half of the working multimillionaires were self-employed, many of them running small- to medium enterprises. The lukewarm macro economy was one reason their population did not grow last year, but as the affluent had further diversified their investment portfolios, gains in investment had made more millionaires in the city.

ALSO READ: HK multimillionaires’ club keeps swelling

Obtaining massive wealth does not necessarily guarantee more happiness; the level of happiness recorded significant growth as wealth rose from less than HK$100,000 to HK$5 million but not so as wealth expanded from HK$5 million to HK$10 million, the report revealed.

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