Buildings are seen from Victoria Peak at night in Hong Kong, on Aug 28, 2019. (PAUL YEUNG / BLOOMBERG)
Hong Kong has a record number of multimillionaires — those with net assets of at least HK$10 million (US$1.3 million) and liquid assets of at least HK$1 million — with 1 out of 12 city residents meeting the criteria as of early this year, according to a new report.
Based on data collected from November to January, the Citibank Hong Kong report shows that the number of the city’s affluent was 515,000, or 2 percent higher than it was in September, with the new total accounting for nearly 9 percent of the population.
Based on data collected from November to January, the Citibank Hong Kong report shows that the number of the city’s affluent was 515,000, or 2 percent higher than it was in September, with the new total accounting for nearly 9 percent of the population
However, the median net asset value of the wealthy shrank by 9 percent to HK$15.5 million from HK$17 million in the previous report, which was generated through interviews in two phases: November to December 2019 and March to May 2020.
“The latest Hong Kong Affluent Study released today shows that the population of Hong Kong multimillionaires continues to grow unabated during the pandemic, and even set a record high”, said Josephine Lee, Citibank Hong Kong’s head of retail banking.
The trend was backed by investors’ gains in the finance market amid governments’ measures to stabilize the financial sector globally as well as investors’ maintaining diversified, risk-aware portfolios, she added.
The city has more male multimillionaires than female ones, but the gap is narrowing, with the male-to-female ratio moving from 56-44 to 54-46, according to the report.
The average age of male multimillionaires is 60, compared with 61 for their female counterparts. Nearly 60 percent of multimillionaires are in the non-workforce group.
Among the 18 districts, Eastern district has the highest ratio of multimillionaires at 19 percent, followed by Southern district, Central and Western district, and Wanchai district. Kowloon City is the only non-island neighborhood that ranks in the top five.
More than 4,000 Hong Kong residents aged 21-79 were interviewed via telephone at random to gauge the wealth status and views of multimillionaires.
According to the report, multimillionaires had 70 percent of their wealth in property, followed by cash, deposits and stocks. At the investment portfolio level, the survey reveals that stocks, foreign currencies and the Chinese yuan continue to be the three investment instruments with the highest exposure.
The city’s multimillionaires are more optimistic about property market prospects, with 15 percent of the respondents expecting home prices to rise in the next 12 months, more than double the figure from the previous report at 7 percent, according to the report.
However, only 8 percent expressed interest in buying property in Hong Kong, while 10 percent said now it’s a good to time to buy, down from 9 percent and 13 percent respectively from the previous period.
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