From the Knight Frank-Citibank Wealth Report 2012.
Three Chinese cities — Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing — have come in among the world’s top ten cities for global high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs), according to the results of a sentiment survey conducted among Citi Private Bank’s wealth advisors and Knight Frank’s luxury property specialists.
The survey found Hong Kong to currently be the favourite city in the Asia-Pacific region for the super rich, coming in third on the charts after London and New York, and ahead of its rival Singapore which came in fifth.
Shanghai was ranked 8th and Beijing 9th in the study. Both cities were the fastest growing in importance for HNWIs, and are expected to rise up to 4th and 3rd places respectively in a decade’s time, knocking Hong Kong and Singapore down the charts.
The study confirms the inexorable shift in global wealth distribution from North America and Europe to the Asia-Pacific region. From the report:
Our global HNWI data also indicates a shifting emphasis to the East. There are now 18,000 centa-millionaires in the region covering South-East Asia, China and Japan. This is more than North America, which has 17,000, and Western Europe with 14,000.
By 2016, Ledbury Research expects that this region will have extended its lead, with 26,000 centamillionaires, compared with 21,000 in North America and 15,000 in Western Europe.
On a country-by-country basis, the US will still dominate in 2016, with 17,100 centa-millionaires, but China will be catching up fast with numbers set to double from current levels to 14,000.
“We believe the number and concentration of centamillionaires accentuates the trajectory of current global wealth flows,” says James Lawson, Director at Ledbury Research. “Trends seen in this wealth bracket are likely to be replicated in lower wealth tiers in years to come.”
South-East Asian deca-millionaires (those with $10m or more in assets) already outnumber those in Europe, and are expected to overtake those in the US in the coming decade.
The report also notes that while Chinese cities are among some of the world’s fastest growing, they performed “significantly less well for freedom of expression and human rights” and this “may hinder any future ascent to the top of the overall ranking”.